Graduation Night: How To Help Your Teen Avoid A DUI
There are few milestones in your teenager’s life that are as exciting as a high school graduation. As a responsible parent, you are probably already aware of the drinking that occurs at many graduation parties, and you may be wondering how to keep your child safe.
1. Practice Open And Honest Communication
Different people have varying views on drugs and alcohol, but no matter what your beliefs are, one of the best ways to get your teen to listen is to be open with them. If you’ve drunk in the past, explain the negative things you experienced and the reasons that you stopped. If you still drink in moderation, explain that you are an adult and do it responsibly, meaning that you never drink and drive, and never drink to the point where you become out of control or sick.
2. Establish Consequences
If you want to issue a zero-tolerance policy for your teen, lay out consequences in case he or she is ever caught drinking, such as losing a vehicle, computer or phone for a period of time. It’s important that the consequences be clear so that your teen can have them in mind when making the decision whether or not to drink. If you need some examples, try looking online at attorney sites such as www.kellislaw.com which can provide hard, cold DUI facts.
3. Find Out The Details
Look into what parties your teen is planning on attending and then talk to the other parents involved. If the parents are willing to talk to you, there is a good chance the party will be alcohol free, as most drinking takes place when parents are out of town. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to directly ask if there will be alcohol at the party. The slight possibility that someone might be offended by the question is better than allowing your child to go somewhere where an adult is allowing unhealthy activities to take place.
4. Be Willing To Pick Your Child Up
These days, many parents are adopting a “no questions asked” policy when it comes to picking their teenagers up from parties. This is especially important if your teen drives his or her own car. Many people drive drunk because they don’t have anyone they can call for a ride, and you don’t want your teen to get behind the wheel and drive home intoxicated simply because they are too scared to call you and tell you that they’ve had too much to drink.
5. Throw a Grad Party Yourself
There is only one way to ensure that your teen has fun celebrating with friends, remains safe and avoids being around alcohol – throw a graduation party yourself. Focus on activities that will encourage the kids to have fun while staying sober, such as party games, dance music, enjoying delicious food and sharing memories and photos from their high school years.
One of the scariest parts of being a parent is being unable to control what your children do. At some point, your kids are going to move out and be completely on their own, so view this time as practice in the art of letting go. By giving your children a little bit of freedom, and being open and willing to forgive some mistakes, you will not only create a deeper and more trusting relationship between the two of you, but you will also help them remain safe.
Nadine Swayne offers this information to all parents facing their teen’s graduation night. By visiting sites such as www.kellislaw.com, you can find DUI statistics to aid you in talking with your teen about the consequences of underage drinking. Attorney Steven Kellis has handled over 300 DUI trials and will fight for the fundamental rights of his clients.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spakattacks/2469859496/
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