Halloween is less than two weeks away. For kids of all ages it can be a fun night filled with friends. As kids get a little older and enter the teen years their interests change, yet they still want to celebrate Halloween. While letting kids get the childhood experience is important, it is equally important for parents to make sure that their kids stay on the right path.
By its very nature Halloween involves a little debauchery and a fair amount of shenanigans. There is a difference between having a good time and taking things too far. Sometimes teens tend to cross the line on Halloween, especially when alcohol is involved. The sad truth is that peer pressure and Halloween sometimes go hand in hand. Teens are often unsupervised as they are old enough to roam the neighborhood with their friends. Whether the alcohol is purchased at a store or “borrowed” from a parent’s liquor cabinet, they sometimes bring alcohol along for the evening. Between the social setting, the influence of peer pressure, and of course the effects of alcohol, some teens tend to get into trouble.
Parents should do as much as possible beforehand to help their kids avoid trouble. Being an involved parent is the best way to ensure that your kids get to have fun on Halloween while staying sober at the same time.
To keep kids from making the wrong Halloween choices try:
- Talking to them- Have a talk with your kids before Halloween. Let them know that you want them to have a good time but that they are expected to follow some rules, including a no alcohol policy. Point out that even possessing alcohol is illegal for minors and that police are looking for such things on Halloween.
- Setting a curfew- Requiring teens to be home by a reasonable hour is not too much to ask, regardless of what they say. The later it gets, the more likely teens are to engage in harmful behavior. Having them home by a reasonable hour sets the standard that you are enforcing rules and allows you to check up on them after they have come in for the night.
- Planning with other parents- If you take part in creating a fun and alcohol-free Halloween environment for your kids you can reduce the chances that they will end up drunk. Planning something fun with some of their friends’ parents could be a great way to let them have fun and say safe.
- Stick to Your guns- As every parent of a teenager knows, teens love to argue for their independence. They will list every reason under the sun that they should not have to follow the rules. Remember that you are the parent and you set the rules. The more you let them argue their way out of following rules the more likely they are to get into trouble. Don’t be overbearing but remember, rules provide foundation for teens to grow on.
We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. Teens should be able to enjoy growing up but learn responsibility at the same time. In the end it is you, the parent, who can make sure that they get both.