Teen house parties – every parent’s nightmare or are they?

My feelings on this subject are as follows: the words ‘ teen house parties ’ should only ever be found in sentences that also contain the words ‘over my dead body’. I don’t like what I’ve read about them, I don’t like what I’ve heard about them and I just don’t like the concept at all. So how did I end up with one in my house last summer?

Why have a teen house party at all?

It was a combination of things. Firstly, I am making a conscious effort to be slightly less uptight.  Tackling anxiety by throwing a teen house party is what you would call the ‘shock therapy’ approach. Kill or cure time.

Secondly, teen daughter number 2 was turning 16 and there would inevitably be some form of celebration, with or without my blessing. Can you imagine the shame of having another family host the ‘gathering’ to celebrate her birthday because I was too mean to have it in my own house? Mortifying! Finally, I knew that at least I’d get a blog post out of it.

The party was scheduled, hastily unscheduled because a few key attendees were unavailable and rescheduled for, wait for it, GCSE results night!


Teen house parties


Image source

My husband predicted a self-inflicted catastrophe of immense proportions as our house became a venue for every teen in the area to celebrate/drown their sorrows.

I was hoping for the best using deep breathing relaxation techniques and positive affirmations.

The party came and went. It was a success and by that I mean no-one was arrested, no-one was hospitalised and the house escaped without major structural damage.

Any advice on teen house parties?

This would not be an After the Playground post without a list of top tips. So, here are some top tips for parents on hosting a teen house party from someone who has only ever done it once and has no idea what she is talking about.

Image source

Teen house parties

  1. Don’t have one.
  2. Talk through boundaries with the teen host. List the things that you will be happy about. List the things that you are willing to turn a blind eye to. List the things that will make you totally freak out.
  3. Arrange start and finish times.
  4. Vet the guest list. Are you happy with both genders, kids from other schools, kids from the other side of town? What is your limit in terms of numbers? Teens have huge social circles these days.  My biggest fear was a social media frenzy and hundreds of kids turning up. My daughter assured me that it would not happen. It didn’t happen. I don’t know why it didn’t happen. You’d have to ask her. I don’t understand it.
  5. Leave the house or at least hide yourself away. You should stay close though. We left and went to a local pub for a few hours. It was literally 2 minutes away.
  6. Make it clear that they can call you. I did make it very clear that if ANYTHING happened that she was uncomfortable with we would return immediately and sort it out calmly and without making a scene. That included medical emergencies and uninvited guests. I was saving the scene for the next day when no-one else was around.
  7. Prep the house. I removed TVs, curtains, lamps and precious pictures from the rooms concerned. If it’s not there, it can’t get damaged.
  8. Establish some rules. We had a rule that no-one was allowed upstairs as we have a garden, lounge, kitchen and downstairs loo that are perfectly adequate for a party. When we got back there were several people in her bedroom, three people on the landing and six (yes, six) in the upstairs bathroom so I’m not sure why I’ve even included this tip because it doesn’t work.
  9. Do something about the carpets. This is where I have a success story. The only carpet that we have is on the stairs and it emerged unscathed. Every other floor surface in the house was extremely sticky. I would imagine that cream hall carpets and teen house parties do not make a good combination.
  10. Younger siblings will just complicate the situation. A friend of mine kindly invited our youngest for a sleep over so she was not involved in any way. The last thing you want is an 11-year-old getting ideas about teen house parties. I recruited my husband and eldest daughter as back up but they weren’t needed. It turns out that all you have to do to get rid of party goers is turn the lights on! Worked like a dream.

How are your anxiety levels after reading this? xx


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  23 comments for “Teen house parties – every parent’s nightmare or are they?

  1. Sue Harding
    October 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Omg rule 8…roared. And even after all ya top tips, its still a great big cowardly no! 😉😉

  2. October 15, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I’m almost too traumatised from my daughter’s 16th in September and wish I’d read your tip number 1 before we said yes! That’s all I’m saying about the party at the moment!!

  3. October 16, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Oh my goodness! Well done to you for braving it. I admire anyone who is brave enough to do it and I’m glad nothing major happened. I’m not sure I would be brave enough myself, but if I ever do I will checking back on this post!
    I must admit I’m almost as scared about my son going to someone else’s party as I am about him having one at home and I was very pleased when the first planned house party of the 6th form got cancelled!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…October half-term – not going on holidayMy Profile

  4. October 16, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    I would not let my children have house parties unless I, or my husband were at home, as I have heard too many horror stories of parties when the parents were away
    Karen, the next best thing to mummy recently posted…Review of animal alphabet booksMy Profile

  5. October 16, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Anxiety levels are HIGH after reading this, and high five to you for braving it. Having a 15 year old I really don’t know what I would say if he asked to have a party. I think I might print out your post and keep it handy so I can whip it out if and when needed lol. Glad you seemed to escape unscathed x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…Champagne Afternoon Tea at The MereMy Profile

  6. October 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Yes stick to number 1!
    Daughter had a Halloween party last year after starting a new sixth form so I didn’t know (nor did she) many kids. I’ll just say we had 50+ kids, fake blood and mud…..and my youngest nicked some booze. Apart from that it was fine!!
    Stick to number 1.

  7. October 17, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    First, I laughed out loud when your #1 tip was Don’t have one.
    Second, I’m jealous that there is a pub 2 minutes from your home!

    Fun post, Sharon!


    • October 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      You have to bear these things in mind when choosing a house Katy! You never know when they will come in handy! xx

  8. October 18, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    no way ever not in this day and age with social media, i had one when i was 15 but that was a long time ago and the following morning my dad had to go and collect various items from the house from the hedges down the road yet let my sister have a party a few years later and actually left it unsupervised, oh my word. When my kids were teens we hired a village hall, but that got harder and harder to do with places demanding huge cash deposits #tweensteensbeyond

    • Sharon - after the playground
      October 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks Suzanne. Yes I bet venues aren’t that keen either!

  9. October 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I have to say I have stuck firmly to rule number 1 and whilst our eldest did kick up a bit of stink initially, after he had been to a few house parties and seen the outcome, he was happy to go along with the NOT IN MY HOUSE rule because he couldn’t cope with the stress of how I would react to the aftermath if I did agree! Hopefully this will wash off on his sister! Well done though Sharon! #TweensTeensBeyond
    Jo – Mother of Teenagers recently posted…Tweens, Teens & Beyond #24My Profile

    • Sharon - after the playground
      October 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Yes I hope that works for you Jo and you end up never having to host one. xx

  10. October 19, 2017 at 8:57 am

    No 1 Sharon, that’s all you need, No 1! Our eldest teen has been to several parties and has admitted that he doesn’t want one here (good job son because you’re not having one here lol!). So far I’ve heard reports of vomit, red wine on cream carpets, a hole in the wall, a back garden filled with broken glass and a bath pulled off its fixings. No way in hell boyo!! #TweensTeensBeyond
    Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas recently posted…Poetry Challenge!My Profile

    • Sharon - after the playground
      October 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Oh my goodness!!! I’m glad I didn’t ask you about it before we held it – I may have changed my mind! xx

  11. October 19, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    We had a teen party when the eldest was 15 or so. Never again! Lots of friends of friends turned up, and any rules went out the window. Since then, teens parties, for either daughter, have been of the quieter ‘a few friends round for the evening’ style, and proper partying has been done elsewhere. Perhaps other parents have said ‘No’ too, as dinner out at an ‘all-you-can-eat-for-a-tenner’ style place seemed very popular throughout the youngest teen years #tweensteensbeyond
    Mary Mayfield recently posted…Marathon watchingMy Profile

    • Sharon - after the playground
      October 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Yes that sounds a good option Mary. There are so many people who have done it once and vow they will not repeat the experience! xx

  12. November 9, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I want to stick to rule 1, but I feel so terrible that he’s turning 18 next week and ALL he wants for his birthday is a party at home with 30 of his friends from school. There have been fierce negotiations over this. Tried to say they’d have to take their shoes off and that went down like a lead balloon. I’ve been told that here in London you have to hire a security guard just in case the party attracts any trouble makers who hear it and make their way inside. Hubby and I will be home (upstairs, suffering in our bedroom no doubt!) as that was one thing we refused to bow down on. Please spare a thought for me on 17 Nov 2017.
    Kelly Pietrangeli recently posted…Video Training: Learn How to Master Your To Do ListMy Profile

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