How NOT to host a teenage party

At 6.00pm we had 15 kids and I’m thinking, “This is fine. I know all these boys. No problems.” By 8.20pm there were 85 teenagers on my front lawn, two police cars, two paddy wagons, many more kids inside my house and drinking games happening everywhere.

“I was scared. It all happened so incredibly fast that I had no time to even call my neighbours for help. I was too busy trying to protect my house, furniture and garden”

I was scared. It all happened so incredibly fast that I had no time to even call my neighbours for help. I was too busy trying to protect my house, furniture and garden. We found out later that a party nearby had been shut down early and most of those who were evicted ended up at my house. There were teens openly sculling alcohol, playing drinking games and singing obnoxious songs at the top of their lungs. The boys were mostly causing the problems. Most of the private schools in our city were represented and petty school rivalries tend to be magnified under the influence of alcohol. There were some scuffles but, thankfully, no major brawls.

RELATED: 11 tips for a successful teen party

Broken bottles

Photo by Kevin Saff

I had earlier called my husband to come home from his Christmas party, and he arrived at the same time as the police. The police were fantastic and said they would get back-up and stay until everyone left. Within a few minutes the marked patrol cars and paddy wagons were there,  ordering the kids through a loud speaker to “disperse the area immediately”.

We were concerned that we may be charged for allowing underage drinking on our property. We made it clear to the police that we had supplied no alcohol and the teens had brought it themselves. To our surprise the police were not interested in the issue of underage drinking – only the physical safety of the people involved. This seems to be a grey area at the moment.



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  1. I am glad that your son had a successful 17th birthday party, its good to know that as a family you were able to sort things out. Do you have some tips?
    I would also be interested in knowing more about the grey area of underage drinking, when parents do not supply but teens smuggle it in.

    • I’m sure Margie will reply as well, but yes, she does have some great tips on what went right the second time, and I’ll be posting an article on that next week (hope you don’t need this info this weekend!)

      As for the issue of underage drinking, and supplying teenagers, we’ve been doing some research here at The Kids Are All Right and I was extremely surprised to learn that it does not seem to be illegal, if the teenagers are being supplied on private premises. It is illegal on licensed premises. Each state and territory has its own rules, and some states – Victoria for example, and I believe NSW – has recently brought in extra rules saying you can supply other people’s teens on your premises ONLY if you have permission from their parents/guardians. We’ll be publishing that article as soon as we can be sure we understand the facts.

  2. Thank you Margie for sharing your story and thank you The Kids Are All Right for publishing. It’s through stories like this that we can hopefully avoid the ‘Epic Fails’ and learn from others. Looking forward to reading the next article about what made Margie’s next party so successful.

  3. Wow. Interesting for me was how quickly it got out of control. your husband must have got the shock of his life when he arrived home. Serves him right for suggesting it in the first place!

  4. AAHH – it wasn’t my long-suffering husband that suggested the fiasco. I would love to blame him – alas my niece was the culprit.
    We’ve currently been going through the Schoolies issue with Son and it has gone extremely well. Again – planning is a plus. Thanks everyone for positive comments. On rereading the article there are some “negative mothering moments” but if it helps others avoid the mistakes we made – then its all good. I see it all as a learning experience!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story Margie. It’s refreshing to hear other parents have “epic fail” moments as well. As parents we need to support and encourage each other, it’s not an easy job. I know when I was growing up we didnt have the instant access of SMS and Facebook, times have certainly changed

    • Thanks Amanda for your comments. I agree wholeheartedly that parents need to support and encourage each other – hence the website! Glad you agree too 🙂 And I know a lot of people will say that bringing up teens today is no different to when we were teenagers, but I think that technology, like SMS and Facebook as you say, does make a big difference. Thanks a lot for stopping by.



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