One of Eric's friends had planned a party, but when that fell through Greg and I were thrilled to open our house up to the kids and to let them get together here under our supervision.
A few things we would recommend:
- Do agree to be the party house - Kids want to get together, and in my opinion I'd rather have them in my home than anywhere else! If there here, I know they are supervised, not drinking, safe and having fun.
- Don't let your kid invite the entire grade - Unless you are prepared for a major blowout, keep the guest list to a reasonable count. You can decide for your family what the definition of "reasonable" is. For us, we felt we could safely supervise 25 friends.
- Do have a start and end time - Most of the kids showed up either early, or right on time. We told them they needed to be picked up or leave by 1:00 AM and all but a few had parents pick them up by that time.
- Do maintain a watchful presence - Give the kids some space, but let them know you're in the vicinity. I spent two hours in the kitchen baking cookies and brownies for them. While they knew I was nearby, since I was busy it didn't look like I was just hanging around for no reason.
- Do keep the menu simple - Finger foods, clear liquids (obviously non-alcoholic) and lots of sweets seemed to be the most popular items. A few weeks ago, we ordered pizzas for this same crowd and half of them went uneaten. The big winner last night was the Artichoke Dip.
- Do have activity options - We have ping pong, air hockey and pool tables at the ready for teen visitors. But last night, they spent two hours playing Cranium Family Edition - a fun game that's a mix of charades, pictionary, and some other classics. They also enjoyed lighting off a few safe fireworks and hanging out around a bonfire, but there require definite adult supervision.
I can't think of a better way to have celebrated the New Year than to gather with our kids and their buddies last night - sure, we have some clean up to do today, but hopefully the memories the kids made last night will last longer than the brownie stains on the carpet!
About the Author
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Visit Lisa's author page on Amazon.com.