By Thalia Williams
The lazy days of summer. For teens it is a time to relax without the pressure of school, homework and extracurricular activities. And for parents, it is the time to wonder what their kids are doing all day with all that free time on their hands.
How are parents supposed to keep an eye on their children while they are at work? The transition from supervision at school to no supervision during summertime can be a challenge. Summer vacation should be a time for fun and relaxation, but it can also be a dangerous time for teens.
Use these helpful tips to ensure your teen has a safe and healthy rest of the summer and a positive start to the new school year.
1. Keep track of all alcohol and prescription medications throughout the house.
2. Give your teenager a list of ‘pre-approved’ activities. This list will help your child know what they can do without calling for permission first. Make sure to set limits for them, and require that they text you with who they will be with, where they will be going and an approximate time of return.
3. Encourage your kid to get a part-time job or have them get involved in community service. This will help your teenager to make new friends who will have the same interests, and help elevate the boredom that leads to experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
4. Talk with your children at least once during the day. Parents will be able to hear a difference in their child’s voice that can be a signal that something is not right.
5. Use the Parent/Child contract from DrugFreeAz.org (www.DrugFreeAz.org/contract), or adapt one of your own that helps your child know the expectations that you have from them. This will help establish an open communication channel with your child that will help them feel comfortable talking to you about peer pressure and other issues that are bothering them.
For more tips and information about the classes and workshops offered, visit www.DrugFreeAz.org.