Thursday, June 5, 2014

Help Your Kids Celebrate Summer Break Safely!

Your kids are now free of homework and ready to enjoy the warm summer nights with their friends! Support your teens' summer experience by encouraging them to celebrate their break safely. With more time on their hands greater opportunity for risky behavior are also at hand. With boredom often comes mischief.
“Teens who report they are “often bored” are 50% more likely to smoke, drink, get drunk, and use illegal drugs than teens who aren’t.” (National Drug Prevention Alliance) 

Parents are the #1 influence in their kids' lives so don't hesitate to have the conversation that could save their life. More often these days parents want to have a friend-to-friend relationship with their kids, but your kids need and want you to be the authority in their life. Kids who know their parents will be disappointed in their negative choices are less likely to engage in risky behavior. As the person who has the greatest authority and influence in your kids life, there are five things you should be sure your teen knows this summer:

      1. You do NOT want them to use drugs or alcohol
      2. You care about them
      3. You are well-informed about drugs and alcohol
      4. You are paying attention to what they do
      5. How to get out of a bad situation 

    “There is a 38 % increase in marijuana initiation during June, July and August, compared to the rest of the year.” (SAMHSA)
      Knowing what to say to your teen in the conversation about drugs and alcohol will help you approach the conversation. Talk about these 3 things:

1. Why drugs and alcohol are bad:
  • Dangerous to health and development of the brain
  • Alters the mind and lowers inhibition
  • Is against the law for those under 21 
2. How to say "no" to friends
  • "My parents would be so mad"
  • Suggest an alternative 
  • Walk away
  • Have a number of someone to pick them up readily available
3. Alternative Solutions
  • Host substance free parties at your home
  • Offer your kids’ activities/clubs/summer camps to be involved in
  • Let your kids have movie/game/video game nights at your house  

“Marijuana [and alcohol] use is especially harmful for teens, because their bodies and brains are still developing.” (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

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