The following is another column from (Organizing Against Substances In Stoughton), a coalition of representatives from: the Stoughton Youth Commission, Schools, Police, District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Court, Chamber of Commerce, Local Clergy, as well as various agencies within the community.
With students out of school and parents at work, the summer months provide a prime opportunity for teens to make unhealthy choices. What can parents do about it, though? Here are some tips:
- Set summertime rules: Make clear your rules regarding unsupervised time spent with friends, as well as your expectations surrounding drinking, smoking and other risky behaviors.
- Supervise: This can be challenging for parents of high school students; however, be physically present when you can. And when you can’t, try asking a neighbor to randomly check in.
- Monitor: Know where and with whom your child is at all times. Randomly call and text your teen to check in, and don’t be afraid to check up on your child by calling another parent.
- Engage: Provide some structure to your teen’s summer by helping him/her find a summer job or engaging him/her in a supervised activity (sports, camps, classes, etc.).
- Team up: Get to know the parents of your teen's friends. Speak with them to ensure you have a unified and consistent no-use stance.
- Stay involved: Show your teen you care by taking time out of your busy schedule to do something fun and interactive together this summer (head to the movies, volunteer together, take a bike ride, etc.).
- Communicate: Regardless of season, it is always a good time to talk to your teen about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Open (or maintain) the lines of communication and be your child’s trusted source of information.
Remember, the Parents who host, lose the most: Don't be a party to teenage drinking.