Party checklist for an adult hosting a teen party
Are you a parent that's hosting a teen party this festive season? Check out these tips to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Research has revealed that around 15 percent of boys and eight percent of girls said they’d had their first drink before the age of 13.

These figures are a timely reminder as calendars wind down to the end of the year and social diaries fill up with end-of-school parties (or matric holidays), after-parties or parties hosted by friends or friends’ family.

It is not uncommon for alcohol to be consumed by teenagers at these gatherings. The research, from the 2012 University of South Africa (UNISA) Youth Research Unit

Substance Abuse Survey, shows that a significant number of teenagers in the average South African home have at some stage experimented with alcohol, but that the vast majority of parents believe their kids do not drink.

Read: Great debate: Should alcohol be served at children's parties?

The South African Breweries (SAB) runs You Decide, an interactive underage drinking roadshow, which aims to help educate teenagers about the dangers of consuming alcohol and equip them with various techniques on how to avoid peer pressure and to make the right choices in life. 

The campaign also speaks to parents and adults about the active role they play in their teenagers’ lives.

“While parties and other get-togethers help children to develop socially, it is crucial that careful supervision occurs where alcohol might be present,” said Rowan Dunne, Alcohol Policy Manager at SAB. 

Read: Teens and alcohol

The company has compiled a checklist for party safety, whether the party is one that an adult or a teenager is hosting, or a party that a teenager will be attending.

A party checklist for an adult hosting a teenage party

  • Keep the party to a manageable size. Ensure your adult-to-child balance is workable.
  • Agree on a guest list—don’t admit party crashers.
  • Agree to ground rules with your teenager as well as how the evening is expected to progress - including what time it will end.
  • Encourage your teen to co-plan the party with a responsible friend so that he or she will have support if problems arise.
  • Agree on which parts of the house and garden may be used for the party.
  • Be a visible presence at all times.
  • Agree to an invitation list beforehand and resist late additions, especially gate-crashers.
  • Brainstorm fun activities for the party.
  • For larger parties, provide security at the gate and perimeter.
  • Be wary of people who leave and then return.
  • If a guest brings alcohol into your house, confiscate it and call their parents.
  • Protect your alcohol supply; make sure that your children cannot get to it.
  • Provide food and soft drinks.
  • Your responsibility only ends once a child is safely collected. Children should not just disappear. If they do, parents should be contacted. Be observant throughout the party and aware that there are mobile delivery services that deliver alcohol to parties.
  • Never make the exception or concede to children drinking alcohol variants that contain lower alcohol volumes.
  • Be visible and available—but don’t join the party!

If your child is going to a party

  • Contact the parents holding the party and check on the facts concerning the event.
  • Talk to your children about your expectations and the consequences of their not living up to them.
  •  Do not give your children large amounts of cash.
  • Make it clear that they cannot leave the party and go to another without getting your permission.
  • You (or a trusted parent) should pick them up at the agreed time but they should also know that they can phone you at any stage if they need to leave.
  • Sleep overs are a no-no, unless you have reason to trust the host family completely. Check last minute sleep-over plans very thoroughly with the host parents.
  • Be awake when your children return home, or have them wake you. Talk to them for a while.

The campaign has a toll-free line for youth to call, should they need any help (0800 33 33 77). 

Read more: 

80% of high school kids drink alcohol 

Being aware of alcohol 

How to tell if your teen is an underage drinker 

How are you protecting your teen against underage drinking this festive season? Send your pictures, stories and comments to and we may publish your story! Should you wish to remain anonymous, please let us know. 

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