The Teen Scene: Teen Party Etiquette

Etiquette Expert Ellen Reddicks shares the ins and outs of Teen Party Etiquette.

In order for a teen party to be a success, it needs to be fun and safe for all involved.

You, as the parent, can insure this by following these simple rules:

1. Make each rule clear to your teen. Write them down in black and white so that there can be no disagreement on what has been decided.

2. Split the workload and write up a list for each of you. Be sure your teen knows what he/she is responsible for getting done for the party. You should not be doing all of the work.

3. Keep the number of teens invited manageable. Smaller parties are much easier to manage and tend to be more fun.

4. Set the time for the party and stick with it. Three hours from start to finish seems to work well for the teen parties I have hosted.

5. Do not allow any illegal substances, including, but not limited to: alcohol, drugs of any kind, firearms, porn, etc. Place a ‘there will be no drinking or drugs allowed’ on the back of the invitations. This rule needs to be made very clear to all invitees before the day of the party.

6. Get a list of all those invited with their phone numbers. Keep this handy should the illegal substance rule be broken so that you can call the invitees parents to come and pick them up. Does this seem too harsh? What is more harsh is if that teen goes home and says you provided said illegal substance. You could face charges. But, if your teen knows you will call the other parent, you can bet the teens that will normally try and pull this stunt will not, or will not come to the party at all.

7. Do not have an open house. Tell your teen that he/she needs to stick to the invitation list. Should you have crashers to your teen’s party, do not allow them in.

8. Allow other parents to feel welcome to call you and to attend the party if they want – more hands to help and chaperone.

9. Do not be the only chaperone. There needs to be more than one adult in attendance.

10. During the party, ‘be around’. While you do not need to be right there, front and center, all the time, you do need to be visible. Staying in your bedroom is not chaperoning a party. Refill the food, help start activities and/or just walk through every 15 minutes or so.

11. Do not allow teens to leave the party and come back. This is a recipe for trouble. Teens who want to involve themselves with drinking, smoking, etc. will leave a party, do the illegal activity and come back. Make it clear that should anyone leave the party, he/she is not welcome to come back.

12. Accidents happen. Be ready with a bucket and rag to wash up spills and a first aid kit should someone get hurt.

13. Inform your neighbors and if it is a big party, the police. When your neighbors are pre-informed about a teen party, they are less likely to get upset with the noise and less worried about their own property. The police are there to help should you have any problems with a teen party. While I don’t feel this step is necessary for small parties, larger ones can get out of hand and you may need some help, especially at times like prom night or graduation.

14. Mark off an area in your home for the party. Party goers shouldn’t be in any other area of your home. Count heads when you make a walk through.

Ellen Reddick is the owner of Impact Factory a Salt Lake City based company specializing in training, consulting and coaching in business professionalism and communications.

Ellen is a well known Executive and Corporate Consultant who works with executives and corporations to help identify and assess developmental opportunities for both organizations and individuals. Her unique, practical and powerful strategies make her easy to talk to and her vast corporate background helps her coach high-potential individuals and those requiring new skills to enhance their leadership competencies. Her business experience is varied and extensive including Director for Fairchild Telecommunications International and the national Quality & Process Improvement Director for Lucent Technologies.

She is also a noted author of several business books and articles. Her books include The Art of Professionalism in Our Lives and The Complete Job Search Handbook. She currently writes a monthly column for The Enterprise Newspaper and participates in several business blogs.

Ellen can be reached at: (801) 581-0369 or

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