Throwing a surprise party for anyone is risky business, but throwing a surprise party for your teenage kid is different ball game altogether. All kids catch a disease the moment they become teenagers, which means they become a little allergic to their parents and find everything they do super-cringy and embarrassing. Instead, they would rather just hang out with their friends and leave it at that.
But I’m a dad, and I love trying to do the impossible, so I’ve never wanted to leave anything ‘at that’, and certainly not the chance to prove you can throw a surprise party for teenagers and class it a success. It’s about making memories, man.
So, without further ado, here some super-awesome tips to help you ail this tightrope walk and come out the other side with an unabashed cuddle and an “I love you, Dad. Thanks for doing this.”
1. The Two Kinds Of Help You’ll Need
When it comes to planning a surprise bash, you’re going to need help. But not just any help; very specific help. The first kind is professional help (you already knew that, though), by which we mean hiring a party planning – something you can learn more about here. The other kind of help you’ll want to enlist is your teen’s BFFs. They’ll know exactly who to invite, what sort of entertainment to get, what drinks are hot right now, what food your kid loves, the sort of music to play and what snacks to put out. They’ll also be clued up on decoration advice too.
2. Create A Great Keepsake
Us Dad’s may not be cool in principle, but we can do some pretty thoughtful things, such as buying a keepsake your kid will cherish for years to come. It could be a blank book that everyone can write in, such as a story they hare with your teen, or you could invest heavily in something that they’ll appreciate when they mature into fully-fledged adults, like a watch or jewellery (engraved with the date, of course).
3. Personal Touches Are Key
It doesn’t matter what sort of thing your kid is into, how much they loathe you in their teenage years, or how much angst they put out in the world, they’ll secretly love a personal touch or two. It could be that you hire a skateboard ramp knowing they’re into it, or you might print out some of their most-liked Instagram photos and hang them from the trees in your garden or anything you fancy really. Just make sure it leans on the cool side of the line and not the awkwardly embarrassing.
4. Hide The Party, Not The Day
As a golden rule of thumb, don’t plan the surprise party to be held on their birthday or any time afterwards, other wise they are just going to think you forget their birthday and be even more begrudged by your sight. Instead, plan the surprise to happen before their big day. That way you won’t have to act suspicious or anything. You can just blow their mind, which is cool.
This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.