Getting Kid Ready for Summer
Throw out the left-over liquor bottles from holiday parties. If they’re going to experiment, it will be with the stuff you’re least likely to look at or touch. Since teens say when they drink they do so at a friend’s home, it’s time for us to start talking to those parents and asking direct questions, such as, does my teen have access to alcohol in your home? Worst-case scenario is you’ll embarrass your teen. It won’t be the first time.
Prepare for boredom. Before you know it, they’ll be calling you on the phone while you’re at work asking to go to place A, with friend B, whom you’ve actually never met, but is a friend of friend C, whom you know quite well. And, oh by the way, they’ll be home before you get home, and they’ll keep their cellphone on. I believe most teens are inherently honest and good, but I’ve noticed they can smell weakness. If they can get their otherwise logical parent who normally would insist on all facts and details with 24-hour notice to budge in this one moment, the door is open for compromise. Work with your teen to make plans in advance and stick with the 24-hour notice rule for activity outside of the home. If friend B is really that important to your teen, they’ll make plans within your guidelines.
A summer job can be a gateway to experimentation. Summer jobs can result in relationships between your teen and older, legal drinking-age individuals. Plan on talking to your teen about work relationships, new friends and your expectations of them while they are working for the summer.
Plan for fun and down time. Endless surveys of teenagers show that they are often more worried, more stressed and more over-extended than any other teen generation that has come before them. Take time out. Plan in advance for ways that you and your teenager can relax.