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Some Holds Barred

Some Holds Barred
Graduation Party Ideas & Suggestions that Nobody will Regret Later

by Bobbie Ames | Section Editor


‘Tis the season for high school graduation, and there will be no shortage of parties to go along with the milestone celebration.  Should you host a party?  How do you make it memorable but also set boundaries to keep everyone safe?

Whatever you plan to do, a bit of extra foresight and planning will make it a memorable and meaningful celebration. My point of view on this is very simple. You can host a party without it being one of those parties, but you’re going to have to be really smart about it.  When parties are held without an adult in the home (or worse, the adult is home and turns a blind eye), things get carried away, questionable decisions are made and there is a real possibility that the bright future you envision for your child is over. So, as parents, let’s make a pact: don’t be that person and don’t have one of those parties.  Will this make you unpopular with your own child?  Well, maybe.  But it probably won’t be the first time or the last time he rolls his eyes at you.

Randi Mazzella, a freelance writer for Raising Teens magazine and mother of three, wrote in a recent article, “Teens may see drinking at these events as a rite of passage even though high school students are obviously not legally old enough to drink.  They worry that if they do not attend or drink at the parties, they will be missing out or considered unpopular. Parents may try to enforce more lenient rules, such as collecting car keys at the beginning of a party to avoid drinking and driving, but teen drunk driving is not the only problem—drinking can lead to other destructive behavior including accidents like falling down the stairs, fighting, sexual assault, etc.”

Robert Chaiken, an attorney who has seen one too many cases involving teenage drinking, warns that there can be legal consequences for kids and adults, both criminal and civil, if alcohol is served at parties. “An unsupervised party is a recipe for disaster and can completely derail a kid’s future,” says Chaiken. He suggests limiting the number of guests, setting a time limit, keeping the event in a central location where kids are less likely to wander off, and enlisting the help of older teens or adults to help both inside and outside. “Not only is it a courtesy to your neighbors, but it can stop kids from congregating outside where trouble often starts.”


Party On

If you still want to have a graduation celebration, then look over the following suggestions to make the party manageable:

1) Send out invitations and ask for RSVP’s.

2) Keep the number of people invited to a reasonable amount (for me

that would be no more than 20 graduates).

3) Include parents of the graduates and other important adults in your

child’s life like grandparents, cousins, coaches, and favorite teachers.

4) Do not hold the party at night.

The time of day, number of guests and the mix of young-adults and adults will considerably (but not completely) reduce the chance that things will get out of hand.  You also might consider having the party at a venue that includes an activity or entertainment. Here are some options:


Sunday Brunch  

Best suited for a quieter graduate and a small group of people. If you host this at home, set up a waffle bar or let everyone make their own granola parfaits.

Food Truck Festival 

Open up your back yard and line up the food trucks for a fun daytime party. The choices are endless! If you have a pool, add swimming to the festivities.

Pin Stack Bowling Party 

Pin Stack is brand new to Plano. They cater to parties of any size and provide all the food and drink. Easy breezy!

Frisco Roughriders Pool Party  

Did you know you can reserve the pool at Dr. Pepper Stadium?  Swim while you watch the game, and have a personal attendant prepare fresh-grilled food and an assortment of ice-cold beverages while you relax.


Oh, and congrats to your grad!

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