Prom & Graduation: Life & Death Decisions.
Posted on 04/18/2012 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s Informed Families Lunch & Learn event was entitled, “Prom & Graduation: Life & Death Decisions.” We had three fabulous speakers representing prevention, education, law enforcement and addiction treatment. Here’s what we learned:
- If your teen gets caught with alcohol, they can be arrested and charged with a second degree misdemeanor which can stay on their permanent record.
- If your teen is caught with simply having a fake id, it is also a second degree misdemeanor.
- If your teen is caught trying to use the fake ID fraudulently (to buy alcohol, for example), they can be arrested and charged with a third degree felony.
- Parents or other adults can be arrested and charged for contributing to the delinquency of a minor if they buy alcohol or do anything that will lead their children astray.
- Parents can be arrested and charged with a 2nd degree misdemeanor for having an open house party, where they either know or should know that children are consuming alcohol or drugs, having failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it.
- Alcohol and drug use among teens can significantly negatively impact learning, both on a short term and long term level.
- Set parameters with your children. Have a curfew, know their itinerary, monitor the venue. Supervise their activities. Know who they are hanging out with.
- Another good way to prevent your teens from making poor decisions is to role play with them. Ask, “what would you do if someone offered you alcohol,” for example. By acting out these scenarios, children are more likely to feel comfortable doing the right thing.
- The most important thing parents need during the teenage years is to maintain a meaningful connection with their children. Spend more time listening than talking, for example. Ask difficult questions, even if you run the risk of embarrassing your children. The long term benefits outweigh the short term risk. Stay open minded and listen.
- Parents need to play a more active role in their children’s lives (be their parent not their friend) to prevent drug use and abuse from happening.
- Consider making policy changes within your sphere of influence. Talk to the school about developing policies that hinder drug use and abuse. Some schools ban prom and graduation after parties. Others require parents to drop off and pick up their children at the prom.
Do you still think teen drinking is a rite of passage? What are you doing to prevent your children from making decisions with devastating consequences?