Ahhh how times have changed.
I try not to think about the parties I attended when I was fifteen and sixteen and the parties I throw for my kids and their friends. The parties I attended often include pot and alcohol and guys. But for my kids everything is different. I am the cool mom on the block that throws parties for every season and every reason. Last night's Halloween party was no exception.
HOW TO THROW AN AWESOME PARTY FOR TEENS
1. Let everyone's parents drop them off early. Might be a headache to you, but look at it this way, you are giving the young men the all important opportunity to increase their x-box skills and teaching the girls how to throw a party. I know, I know, why can't the boys learn how to throw a party? Trust me, you don't want them in the livingroom and kitchen. Teen age boys are generally big and loud and do a lot of shoving and crude body language, real or otherwise. Girls squeal, giggle, dance and wash their hands.
2.Decorate profusly. This includes: lights strung everywhere, decorative lanterns, sparkly confetti strewn on the tables, floor and furniture and cool matching paper products. They may act like they are too old for it, but they actually love it. Makes them feel important, like someone went to a lot of trouble for them. Because our house is so small and our garage is packed full of stuff we actaully create a room in the garage with blankets, rugs and cushions. Decorate it with lights, disco balls, and a fog machine and you instantly have a room kids feel comfortable in. This year we hooked up several TVs and the guys had an x-box LAN room. Fun stuff.
3. Prepare lots of food and have the ones that came early help you. Last night we had several pounds of Hallowenies (A total teen favorite, little smokie sausages wrapped up in bits of pillsbury biscuits.) A couple of pounds of buffalo wings, decorated cupcakes, apples and caramel dip, cookies, taquitos and chips and dip. You can never really have too much food.
4. Invite some utterly cool young adults to help supervise. Last year we asked a young figure skating coach and her boyfriend to attend. They both wore the right clothes, were great too look at and fit right in. This year, I invited the new youth pastor and his wife. They are in their early twenties and of course, get along smashingly with kids. People like this help a lot with behavior because it makes the kids act a bit more mature. Hard to explain, but it works.
5. Games. Another thing they pretend to disdain, but if you have some good ones it gives the evening some structure. I generally mix up the time between free time and game time. I search for games that make everyone feel comfortable and make them laugh. Last night we played a funny game called, Find Bill. Find Bill is my own invention and is a smash hit every time. We have a little stuffed Bill Walton and one person hides him while everyone else is in a different room. He has to have one thing in clear view. When you find him, you quietly go and sit down. The first person to find him gets to hide him unless they have already hid him, then the next person gets a turn. Much hilarity ensues. Regulars to our parties get all excited when I bring out Bill. Other games include having the girls make PP&J with their feet and having the guys eat the sandwich, electricity and find the ring in the flour. Basically, anything icky and gross is good.
That's pretty much it. The kids get a great party and I get to know all their friends. I also provide an alternative to parties with drugs, alcohol and sex. I am not only a cool mama, I am a smart mama:)