If you're the parent of a teen, you likely are nervous about one thing or another year-round. Memorial Day is known as the beginning of the "100 deadliest days for teens" on the road. However, if you have a teen graduating from high school this year, it may be disturbing to hear that some experts who study teen drinking say that the period between prom and graduation is the most dangerous one for teens.
Prom and graduation often involve all-night parties, usually with at least some kids that your teen doesn't know. It's not uncommon for one or more teen to bring alcohol. Graduation parties, which mark an important rite of passage, are often an excuse for teens to let loose.
Parents may think that nothing they do or say will prevent their teens from drinking at these parties. However, surveys have shown that teens whose parents discuss drinking with them are less likely to do so.
Beyond having frequent and honest conversations with your teens about drinking and clear rules and consequences, parents can help keep their kids safe and out of trouble as the end of the school year nears. For example:
- Ensure that your child has a safe ride to and from any parties (whether by renting a limo or having a responsible adult drive).
- Practice with your teen what to do or say if offered alcohol or drugs.
- Let your kids know that they should never be afraid to call you if they feel unsafe or need a ride home.
- Set curfews when your kids go out and be clear about the consequences if your kids don't abide by them.
- Offer to help your teen host a graduation party at your own home.
It's not helpful that liquor companies employ ad agencies that are experts at making drinking look like a natural accompaniment to any get-together. Even though these ads don't portray teens drinking, they can nonetheless influence their decision to drink.
If your teen is arrested for underage drinking or DUI, it's understandable that you'd be angry and perhaps want him or her to face the consequences. However, an arrest can impact your teen's academic career and even the ability to get a job later on. That's why it's wise to make sure that he or she doesn't face the justice system without the guidance and protection of an experienced Maryland attorney.
Source: StartTalkingNow.org, "Help your teen have a prom and graduation to remember," accessed April 17, 2018