It is time for spring break! As a parent, do you have any fond memories of spring break with your kids when they were younger? Maybe you took them camping with the family, on a day trip to your local amusement park, or you planned a few fun family movie nights at home. Some things may have changed in the past few years. Your teenage daughter or son is excited to have a week off of school. It’s a great time to rest, recharge and have fun with family and friends.
No matter how you plan to celebrate this week, spring break is a perfect opportunity for parents and adults to talk to the teens in your life about underage drinking. Use these three tips to ensure that your teen stays safe and sober this spring break:
1. Is your teen planning to go on a trip with a friend’s family or a large group without you? Have a straightforward conversation with the supervising adults to let them know your stance on alcohol. Confirm that absolutely no alcohol will be provided or given to your teen, under any circumstances.
2. Use the extra break time as an opportunity to begin an ongoing conversation with your teen about alcohol. Find some tips for beginning that all-important conversation here, and then check out this page for how to set boundaries regarding alcohol use for your teens here.
3. For many teens and young adults, spring break is a time to let go of school and home stress. In preparation for the break, talk to your teen about healthy ways to manage stress. By finding an outlet like physical exercise, conversation or journaling, your teen may channel stress in a way that will prevent harmful activities such as binge drinking or prescription drug use.
Wherever your teen may be this break, we encourage you to keep in contact with them regularly. Check in to see how things are going and make sure they understand your rules and expectations regarding alcohol use before they head out without you.