If it’s September in Florida, two things are certain — footballs are being tossed in stadiums and soon teens will be heading out in their best finery to homecoming dances. Parents want their kids to experience these rites of passage in high school, but they also want their kids to be safe.
Below is some important information on how you can make sure that your teen doesn’t drink or drive (or ride with kids who do).
Keep teens informed
Your teen probably doesn’t want to hear a bunch of statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including that in 22% of fatal wrecks involving underage teen drivers, alcohol was a factor. But your role as a parent is a major one, and kids pay more attention than you think. You can always insist they turn over the keys if they ever drink and drive.
Model good behavior
If you like to enjoy a cocktail or two, make sure that you don’t climb behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Arrange for a designated driver or call a rideshare service. Kids pick up on their parents’ behaviors, so don’t be caught being hypocritical.
Offer sober alternatives
Get with other parents and share the cost of renting a limousine to ferry the kids out to dinner, and to and from the dance. Plan an alcohol-free after-party at your home that you discreetly supervise by appearing regularly with trays of home-baked goodies and snacks.
Network with other parents
You probably remember the drill from your own school days. Suzy tells her mom she’s sleeping over at Stacy’s, while Stacy does the same. The result is two underage unsupervised girls somewhere they aren’t supposed to be well after curfew. One phone call prevents that subterfuge.
When the worst occurs
If your son or daughter gets injured in a homecoming night crash, they will need you to be their staunchest advocate in seeking justice.