House parties are like a rite of passage in the teenage years; the words “free house” or "a gaff' cause a lot of anxiety for parents!. It is also not unusual to hear of these kinds of gatherings getting out of hand, even more so with the use of social media where party invites can be immediately sent out and gain an enormous reach.
Over the years multiple news stories have highlighted how viral a house party invite can go and you definitely don't want your address to be on the receiving end. To avoid these situations, the most important thing is to maintain open communication with your teenager. Talk to them about examples of when party invites on social media went wrong and show them the news stories so they can see the impact it can have.
Ensure that you and your young person are familiar with privacy settings on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat etc so there will be some control over what happens with the invitation. If your child wants to create a page for their party on Facebook insist that it’s set to the “Invite only” option. It is when the invitation is allowed to be “Open” or “Public” that you could end up with hundreds or thousands of young people on your doorstep. You also have the option to prohibit the “Guests” and “Friends” setting, which means that those who have been invited are then not at liberty to circulate the invite to their own friends. Where possible encourage them to provide the home address in person and advise them to never put it online.
Young people can push the boundaries from time to time but parents should make rules and consequences clear to their children so they are aware of what is expected. If rules are in place it allows you to teach them about respect, responsibility and facing up to consequences of their actions.
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