Tips for Parent and Their Teens for the Summer
Be Aware of Risk Factors
It goes without saying – but it needs to be repeated – that parents should show teens good behavior by their own actions. This means that parents have to know that their teenage son and daughter will be watching how they behave when others are around at a party where alcohol is served, at a restaurant when the parents order wine or cocktails and then get in the car and drive, even casual comments made about alcohol or drug use shown in movies and on television.
In a recent report by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), each day in June and July 5,800 teens try marijuana for the first time. Keeping teens involved in supervised activities and sports during the summer months is a great way to help keep them safe from drugs.
A survey published by the National Household Survey On Drug Abuse (NHSDA) says kids who play sports are less likely to do drugs.
Ten Tips for Frightened Parents of Teenagers:
- Don’t relax the rules. If anything, take ‘em up a notch. And, don’t be surprised when the rules are stretched or broken.
- Make consequences clear… and make ‘em harsh. Write them down and get your teenagers to sign it. Seal the bond of trust with a hug.
- Supervise Your kids. Your teenager has plenty of friends; you need to be their PARENT. Be prepared and expect to be unpopular from time to time.
- Openly discuss alcohol use and abuse. Make it clear that teenage drinking is illegal and dangerous. As a parent, if you drink at home, do so responsibly and count your beers. Lock up your liquor. Make sure your vodka hasn’t mysteriously changed to water./li>
- Ask questions. Stay involved. Teenagers need and deserve a certain amount of privacy in their lives, but that does not imply parents should stop parenting.
- Check and double-check teenage party plans. Talk to those supervising parents. Do not hesitate to make surprised visits. Embarrassing your teenager is your privilege and right.
- Make sure your rules are not ambiguous. Teenagers are famous for being vague or “changing plans” at the last minute. If there is a loophole in the rules, a teenager will jump through.
- If you are going out of town, do not leave teens unsupervised overnight. Even responsible teenagers get into big trouble when the supervisory distance increases.
- Follow through with your consequences. Your primary mission is to keep your teenager safe and on the right road to responsible adulthood.
- It’s okay to say NO.