“Lil Wayne is coming to the Forum!” “Everybody’s going to at Bonnaroo each year!” “Prom night is the most important night of my life!” Your kids may have uttered these words at one point or another. Teens love concerts and big events like proms, homecoming dances and music festivals.
These events present opportunities for them to express their independence and make memories that will last beyond the moments. They are also challenging to parents who are worried about the safety of their teens. It’s tough on parents because the ability to make good decisions is typically tested at concerts and parties. Open and honest communication about your expectations and the expectations of your teens is critical to ensuring that your teen has a fun and safe time when away from you. Below are important tips for parents and kids when attending big events.
Advice for teens:
· Remember that you don’t have to use alcohol or other drugs to have fun. Parents should give real-life examples of fun without alcohol and the consequences of underage drinking.
· Don’t get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.
· Plan how to get home in case your ride falls through. Parents should let kids know they will come pick them up.
· Decide to stay together in a group and look after each other if you realize that you are separated.
· Don’t go off with a person you met that night. Stay in a public, well-lit place.
Advice for parents:
· Be honest about your experiences with alcohol. Establish an open dialogue.
· Tell your teens that they can call you (or another adult whom you both trust) at any time, no questions asked if they want to leave a party. Safety is more important than explanations.
· Encourage seatbelt use.
· Be a role model. The best way to foster good decision making in your child is to be a good decision maker.
As tweens age into teens, they will demand the ability to begin to establish independence. As a parent, you need to allow them varying amounts of control over their lives and decisions. As a parent, you must also be there to guide them and provide good advice while laying out your expectations for their behavior. If you are looking to supplement your teens’ activities with positive and community-service-oriented pursuits, we can tell you about plenty in Pinellas County.
Partying Safely; Tips for Teenagers (Better Health Channel)
Teens and Partying (Family Education)