Planning a Safe Summer for Your Teen

Give your teen space to have fun while setting appropriate boundaries.

During the long school year, teens work hard and focus on education. Over the summer, it’s natural to want to cut loose and have fun. As a parent, you have to find ways to set boundaries without stifling your teen’s hard earned fun.

Research activities
If your teen is attending a camp or going on a trip, do your research. Find out who will be supervising and what the guidelines are. Look into chaperones for trips. Know who will be driving and where your teen will be staying.

Require safety equipment for sports and activities
As your teen participates in sports and other outdoors activities, require the right safety equipment. Activities such as boating can be especially dangerous without the right precautions. Give your teen the chance to have fun as long as he’s adhering to safety rules and using the right equipment, such as helmets while biking or skateboarding.

Talk about drugs and alcohol
Continue an open dialogue about drugs and alcohol over the summer. Never allow your teen or other teens to drink alcohol in your home.

Ask your teen for suggestions
Give your teen the chance to influence her summer activities. Instead of telling her what she’ll be doing, let her come to you with suggestions and options. Discuss those options as a family to find out what works best for your teen and what aligns to the rules you’ve established. Focus on compromise and give her opportunities to earn trust and privileges.

Talk about online safety
Your teen will spend time texting and hanging out online this summer, no matter how great the weather is. It’s always the right time to talk about online bullying, online safety and privacy. It’s also a good time to talk about going to a responsible adult if illegal or irresponsible behavior is witnessed online.                  

The LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a coalition of members of the community who strive to address alcohol and drug use in Pinellas County. Visit us online today to see how you can get involved.

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