Its here, you have gone from 1st birthday party’s to this in the blink of an eye. No longer does your birthday boy/girl want a party filled with sweets, cake and jelly and ice cream. The need for games like pass the parcel, or pin the tail on the donkey is passed. So what now?
The transition from kids party to cool party must be made, and this article will provide concise tips and ideas, to make planning a 16th birthday party smooth sailing for you.
Researching a 16th Birthday Party
As parents, research is key to planning the perfect 16th Birthday Party. You must research your teens interests, likes and dislikes and obtain numbers of how many friends and attendants you can expect. At this stage teens are often unwilling to engage in open conversation with their parents, so, a good ice breaker is often needed to get the ‘party preparation’ ball rolling. Taking your teen out for pizza, just the two of you, this can provide the perfect environment to have a great discussion about the pending party. You need to brainstorm with your teen and lock down solid party plans, to enable you to move forward in the party planning process.
We often spend so much time trying to keep our teens in check, and out of trouble, ensuring that they get their homework done, disciplining and setting boundaries, that we forget to engage with them on a fun level. We forget to listen to them. Treating your teen as the “customer” and labelling yourself as “the party service provider” can be a fun and humorous role play to engage in, and also an excellent way of determining how your teen’s party needs, wants and expectations can be met, for the budget that you can allocate the party. You can begin the role play by asking what type of party your teen envisions?, what elements would your teen love in his/her party?, what would make it special for them? how many people would your teen like to be their? Where would he/she like the party to be held, at home or at a venue, budget permitting?.
Discuss the Party Budget
It is so important that you inform your teen early on in the party planning of the budget that is allocated to throwing the party, this is the maximum amount of money you are willing and able to spend on the entire party, so that he/she understands the scale of the party available to them. If this is the amount you can comfortably afford to throw the party, this is the amount you should spend, and no more. Remember a great party can be thrown on a small budget, family and friends make a party memorable, not the amount spent.
This is a very important factor when planning a 16th Birthday, most of us cannot follow the lavish parties shown on the popular MTV show “My Sweet Sixteen”, those parties are thrown by the children of wealthy celebrities and are sponsored and endorsed by all sorts of luxury products. It is unfair for teens to put that kind of pressure on working parents, expecting them to throw a party on par with those seen on that show is unrealistic and makes parents feel under a lot of pressure to live up to such standards. It must be made clear to your teen, that you can infact throw an amazing and fun party for him/her and keep to the budget the parent sets.
The main expectations of any party planning should be, that everybody who came had a brilliant time, and thoroughly enjoyed attending the party, leaving with great memories of a special day. Express this goal to your teen, to avoid any over the top party demands. Expectations should be budget friendly.
Home Party v’s Venue Party
For a 16th birthday party a home party is the best bet, it is cost effective, parental supervision can be negotiated!! the food provided can be home cooked, fun and filling and generally behaviour is better in a home setting. As opposed to booking a huge venue, which is costly to rent out, costly to decorate and the supervision is always quite poor.
Parental Supervision at a 16th party & How to overcome the Common Argument
Most teens don't want their parents anywhere near their party. The sight of a parent at a 16th birthday party sends teens into the deepest throws of embarrassment, their street credibility goes down and you get the silent treatment for the next few weeks. Here is a tip to avoid bickering over the supervision present at the party:
It is important to remain positive and flexible with your teen, when party planning. Work toward solutions that are realistic and feasible for you both. Such as allocating the bottom of your home to your teen, while you watch telly upstairs, popping down every hour or so to check all is well. It is a realistic solution which gives your teen the freedom and independence of entertaining his/her friends in their own parent free space, and you have the security of knowing that if things get out of hand or too unruly you are close enough to step in and pull rank, if needed.