High school graduation should be a happy time to celebrate the accomplishments of students. Unfortunately it can become a time when bad choices are made. The Barron County Community Coalition wants to remind families that underage drinking and the consequences associated with teen drinking can have dangerous and lasting consequences.
To keep teenagers safe, parents, schools and the community must work together to change the view that reckless teen drinking/partying is normal and okay if associated with graduation.
Parents can help graduates and their friends remain safe by taking responsibility, getting involved and setting limits. Here are a few tips for parents to keep in mind:
- Clearly communicate expectations. Although you may have talked many times to your child about your expectations for healthy choices and the consequences of breaking the rules, graduation season is an important time to repeat these messages.
- Discuss the dangers of drinking and driving and riding in a car with a drunk driver. Parents who discuss possible scenarios and what to do in a dangerous situation increase the chances of their teen’s safe decision-making.
- Be awake when your teen comes home. A teen’s curfew should never exceed the parent’s ability to stay up. Tell your child you will be waiting up for them and you can’t wait to hear the details about the party they attended.
- Do not serve or allow alcohol at any party you are hosting. An adult who provides alcohol to a minor is breaking the law and risking that teen’s life. If you host or allow a party at your house where alcohol is consumed by underage guests you could be sued if any harm, injury, or death results from the alcohol consumption.
Looking for help on how to start this conversation with your teens? Visit https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking/parent-resources for great tips and resources.
For more information on local prevention efforts visit: www.bc3coalition.org