For many teens, spring break means days out in the sun relaxing and having fun with friends. However, these days often can put teens in dangerous waters as they switch from school mode to party mode. Party mode can involve anything from binge drinking, drugs, sex, and criminal behaviors. Molded by popular culture from movies and tv shows, teens have this idea that their spring break needs to be crazy and wild. Once teens partake in these risky behaviors, they soon learn of the serious consequences and repercussions.
What can you do to prevent your teen from partaking in risky behaviors during Spring Break?
- Sit down with your teen and have an open discussion about rules and expectations during the break
- Find out what type of friends they will spend break with. Do these friends have a notorious reputation for partying? If yes, as a parent, you have the ability to prohibit your teen from hanging out with these friends. If your teen is placed in a environment of friends making poor choices, they are most likely to feel the pressure to conform to these choices.
- Create a safety plan. Discuss situations that may put your teen in danger and have your teen talk about what ways they would handle the situation. Then formulate a list of phone numbers and places to go if your teen doesn’t feel safe.
- Be a supportive listener and give your teen an opportunity to voice their opinions. Even if you as a parent have decided no or yes on particular rules about spring break, always let your teen have opportunities to feel heard and validated.
Lastly, as a parent you can also be an educator. Educate your teen on the risks and consequences on their health regarding alcohol, sex, and drugs.