Candle (Community Awareness Network For A Drug-Free Life And Environment, Inc.) shared this letter with Patch.
As prom and graduation celebrations approach, we at CANDLE (Community Awareness Network for a Drug-free Life and Environment) want to share a few thoughts about this exciting time. We want teens to have fun, but like their parents, we also want them to be safe. So often by the teen years parents feel like they have lost control because there are so many other influences.
Yet research shows that parents and guardians are the #1 INFLUENCE IN A TEEN’S LIFE. When teens were asked to draw the major influences in their lives, they placed their parents first before peers and activities. Nevertheless, parents are often unsure about how to keep their youngsters safe, as they make the transition from children to young adults.
In helping your child prepare for prom and graduation and all the exciting activities that surround these momentous events, there are no simple answers and, at times, it is not clear what to do or say. Here are a few suggestions that can help:
• Talk to the parents of the other teens your child will be spending the evening with. Get the other parents on board with the ground rules for activities.
• Make sure there are responsible adult chaperones involved in all activities.
• Find out who will be driving. If a teen is driving, limit the number of passengers and require that all passengers wear a seat belt. Get names and contact information for parents of each passenger.
• Get a complete itinerary of your teen’s evening, including the addresses and contact information for any parties. Know where your teen plans to be and when they plan to be there.
• Make sure your teen knows where to contact you the entire evening, and consider arranging specific check-in times.
• Find out who will be hosting, chaperoning, and supervising any parties.
• Wait up for your teen, and make sure she/he knows you will be waiting for their safe return. Always make it clear that you will be available for a pick up any time, any place, should circumstances get out of hand!
Prom/graduation time is an especially good opportunity for parents to use their influence to protect their youngsters from risky and potentially harmful behaviors. We urge parents to remember that they are the #1 INFLUENCE IN THEIR TEEN’S LIFE and to be firm about keeping their teens safe by saying NO to illegal substance use, which includes underage drinking.
For more information, please go to CANDLE’s website www.candlerockland.org or call 845-634-6677.
The CANDLE Staff