As teenagers across Houston prepare to celebrate key milestones in their lives during prom and graduation season, parents can do their part to make sure they’re ready by talking with their teenagers about underage drinking. While this isn’t always an easy conversation, there are several tools for parents and educators to start these vital discussions.
Silver Eagle Distributors would like to remind parents about the Family Talk About Drinking program, a free parent guide designed to encourage open and honest communication between parents and their children of all ages. Programs like this, paired with education and effective law enforcement, are essential to further reducing underage drinking.
Here are three ways parents can help ensure teens are safe throughout the prom and graduation season:
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1. Take advantage of the resources your school has to offer. Schools are committed to keeping students safe, and they have years of experience managing teens during prom and graduation season. Planning meetings, educational materials, alternative after prom/graduation options – schools have a variety of resources for both parents and students. Be proactive – inquire and take advantage of any programs and information available.
2. Don’t be afraid to get involved. While schools are well equipped to handle safety and responsibility, parents should not rely 100 percent on school staff alone. You may assume that your teens don’t want or need you around, yet the more you are involved the more information you have available to you. Be part of the planning process so you know what is going on from start to finish. It gives you a chance to join with like-minded parents to collectively prevent underage drinking and ensure your teens’ safety.
3. Reiterate expectations. Special occasions are not a reason to lower your expectations regarding underage drinking. Start conversations early to make sure your teens have a clear understanding well before the event date arrives. Be sure to let them voice their thoughts and concerns – have an open ear to keep lines of communication open before, during and after the event.
A parents top priority is the safety of their children. As they grow up, children and teenagers look to you for guidance on how to navigate our complex world. There’s no single “right way” to talk about alcohol, underage drinking, and responsible choices – what’s most important is to start the conversation.
For more tips on communicating with and parenting teens, visit FamilyTalkAboutDrinking.com, facebook.com/ABFamilyTalk or twitter.com/ABFamilyTalk.