How To Make The Party Both Safe And Fun

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. If your teen is hosting a Valentine's Day party in your home, follow these tips and suggestions for making the party fun and safe for everyone.

Ground rules

If you are going to let your teenager throw a Valentine's Day party, you need to lay down some ground rules before you get started with the party planning. Make each rule clear by writing it down, so there can be no misunderstandings. Let your teenager know what they will be responsible for -- from the setup through the cleanup. Just because the party is in your home doesn't mean that you should have to do all the work.

No drugs or alcohol - Make your policy about illegal substances very clear. Even print it on the invitations so that the partygoers know what to expect. Read more about how to deal with teenage drinking.

Set limits. You don't want an open party where an unlimited amount of teens are coming and going all night. Keep the number of invited guests to a manageable number. During the party, dim the lights, but let your teen know they can't be turned all the way off. Also set a time limit and stick to it. Generally four hours is enough time for a teen party.

Hang around. Let your teen know that you will be at the party. And though you don't need to be standing right in the middle of all of their friends, you should hang around. Refill the food trays, handle the music and walk through the party periodically to make sure things are safe and under control.

Invitation ideas

For a Valentine's Day party, it's easy to make your own invitations. You can create invitations on the computer and print them out, or just grab some pink and red construction paper and markers to create them by hand. The Parenting Teens site at About.com has some adorable Valentine's Day party invitations that are ready to print.

Party food

One of the most important things at any party is the food. You don't need to have the party catered, but put a little effort into making the food special and suitable for the Valentine's Day theme. Stick with appetizers and sweet treats rather than planning a whole meal.

Individual heart-shaped pizza. Roll out some pizza dough and cut it into heart shapes using a large cookie cutter. Top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and any other toppings you'd like. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees until the crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbly.

Heart-shaped cookies. Kids of all ages -- even teens -- love cookies. Make heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorate them with pink and red icing. Check out this recipe for Valentine's Day roll out cookies and other sweet treats.

Valentine's Day punch. Instead of dealing with empty bottles and cans, mix up a batch of this Valentine's Day punch.

Fruity Valentine's Day punch

Serves 50 (4 ounce servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime soda

Directions:

  1. Mix sugar, water and gelatin in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for three minutes and then stir in the three juices.
  2. Divide mixture into two separate containers and freeze.
  3. When ready to serve, combine the contents of one of the containers with 1 bottle of the lemon-lime soda in a punch bowl. Stir until the punch becomes slushy.
  4. Repeat with remaining portions when needed.

More tips for parenting teens

7 Tips for teen parties
Helping teens form real friendships

Boost your teen's self confidence

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