It’s here…the tweens! And the begging for that party without the annoying little brother or any adults in sight. Before you freak out about suddenly seeming uncool to your 10-13 year-olds, mama, The Party Elves are here with a few tips to help you help your pre-teen throw a party like a pro.
Select a theme
Guide your tween through the selection of a party theme. Pick something that reflects their interests and involve your child in the planning process. This offers a sense of ownership over the event, while learning vital skills like organisation and planning, list making and creativity.
By sticking to a theme, activities and games can be planned accordingly, leaving less room for trouble!
Help your child plan the guest list
The good thing about tween-age party lists is that there is usually a select group of guests they want to invite anyway. By helping them make the list, it gives you a chance to ask how they know these children. Will you be inviting guests of the opposite sex?
Also make sure you get a final list of the invitees and get their parents’ names and numbers.
If there’s going to be a party page on Facebook, offer to help set up the event page with your child. This way you can ensure the privacy setting is set on Invite Only. If possible, make yourself an administrator on the event page. And disable the “Guests and Friends” settings that allow invited guests to invite their own set of friends. Do not allow “Open Invitation” or “Public”. You don’t want unwanted guests at this party.
Talk about the dos and don’ts with your tween. If you have decided to hold the party at home, set boundaries within the house where guests may or may not go.
Explain what will be allowed and what will not be allowed (no alcohol for example), and remind them of the consequences if the rules are broken.
And, most importantly, as you explain the rules, have your tween echo them back to improve the likelihood that the information is retained and understood loud and clear.
Communication is Key
Call the invited guests’ parents. Tell them about the event and explain the rules that you have set. Check what their curfew times are so that you can help set the time of the party. Give them your number so they can call you before, during or after the party if they have questions or concerns.
Be at the party
And don’t hide away – be present when guests start arriving, help with the food, and so on. You need to be there just in case anyone needs help or has an emergency; heck it’s YOUR house and there are a bunch of youngsters let loose in it!
Whatever you do, don’t be fooled by the stories you might’ve been fed about how you are not being a cool parent. Just be there.
Don’t be the only adult on hosting duty
Don’t even try. You may be the coolest, calmest, ace-st at parenting your children – but trust us on this one. Have at least one other adult present or at least on standby in case there’s an emergency and you need backup.
Keep the party outside
Ideally hire a venue like a community centre, condo function room or restaurant. This is a good idea because most of these places have curfew times, so there’s a higher likelihood the party will end at a defined time, and you can claim it’s out of your control. Not to mention you’ll be burdened with a lot less clean-up!
If all goes well, your tween will have had an awesome time and will be planning the next one. Stay tuned for next month’s article with some of our favourite Tween party themes!