Spring has sprung! Along with the nicer weather comes a season of celebration for many students. Proms, graduations, picnics, parties, end of school year celebrations, just to name a few.
The coming weeks will present plenty of opportunities for teens to consider engaging in high risk behavior, especially drinking alcohol and using other drugs. Let’s help and support our kids in having fun, but in a safe and healthy manner.
- Reinforce your expectations as parents. Be clear, be firm, and be consistent so that your teen knows what actions you feel are unacceptable. Helpful information can also be foundat www.healthyyouth.org/links.php.
- Encourage your teen to make each moment count. Let them know you do not want them to miss out because of bad choices.
- Encourage teens to think about the consequences before making decisions. Every decision has a consequence. Is engaging in a certain activity, getting in trouble, getting hurt, or worse really worth it.
- Know with whom and where your teens are going. Take those extra few minutes to find out their plans. Who else will be there? Where is the event taking place; location alone can send up a red flag. Will there be parents present? Be aware.
- Check in with other parents.
- Give teens a game plan. Help them figure out how to handle a potentially unsafe situation, yet save face. Brainstorm with them. Come up with a solution that feels comfortable for your teen.
- Provide safe alternatives. Help your teens plan fun, chaperoned, alcohol-free parties around prom and graduation. Unsupervised parties hold a high risk.
As community members, we are asking you to help us create a climate of celebration that is safe and memorable, ensuring future health and happiness for our teens and their friends.
“We are the sum total of the decisions we have made.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri
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Did you know that the Tompkins County Youth Services Department has a Twitter Account? Follow us @TompkinsCoYouth to get the latest information on youth issues and events.
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