Summer – The Perfect Time to Try Something New
Summer is here and school is now out. The sun is shining and teens will have the time to spend their long warm days as they choose. While this seems like the perfect summer, it can also lead to teens making poor decisions. In the summer months while teens may have all day to roam free with their friends, most parents are still spending their days at work, which means a lack of supervision at home. An unsupervised day at home with friends is a perfect time for teens to get involved with drugs and alcohol. In a recent report by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), each day in June and July 5,800 teens try marijuana for the first time. Keeping teens involved in supervised activities and sports during the summer months is a great way to help keep them safe from drugs. Not only will they benefit from keeping their mind and body active while school is out, parents will have the peace of mind knowing their kids are involved in structured, supervised activities, leaving them less time to get involved with drugs and alcohol.
Summer is a great time to get dedicated to a sport, gain responsibility at a part-time job or become an active member in the community by volunteering for an organization! When teens are busy doing activities such as working and playing sports, there is less time to use drugs. Keeping up with sports and a job can make it very difficult to find time for parting and drug use. A survey published by the National Household Survey On Drug Abuse (NHSDA) says kids who play sports are less likely to do drugs. While teens may not know why their lives are better while being so active, many adults understand the concept of keeping busy to stay healthy and happy. Encourage the teens you know to choose an extracurricular activity. It is important to let teens know that each one of them has something special to learn and offer, whether it be in a chess club, lacrosse team, painting, or dancing. When teens have the confidence to get involved in something positive, they will stay away from the negative!
Great Tips for Parents:
- Encourage teens to get a summer job – not only does it put a little extra cash in their pockets (and yours!) it can give them a safe, supervised place where there is little time to get into trouble. Not to mention, it can help strengthen their work ethic and make them more responsible.
- Opportunities for community service – get a jump-start on college applications by embarking on community service opportunities. It is good for the community and it keeps them busy during the day.
- Sign them up for a camp or summer sport – physical activity is beneficial for a strong healthy life!
- Daily check-ins – it is important to know what your kids doing. Send an occasional text message or make a phone call just to see what they are up to while you are at work.
- Be aware of what is in your home – if you have a stocked liquor cabinet or a medicine cabinet filled with prescription pills, be aware of how much is there. Double check every so often and beware of a drastic decrease. You may also want to consider locking these substances in a safe place.
- Talk to your kids – Talk to them and make them aware of the true dangers of drugs and alcohol. The more comfortable and open you are, the more likely you are to know if your kids are getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol.
Learn how our parenting program Courage to Speak-Courageous Parenting 101® can give you the tools to keep your children safe. Courage to Speak-Courageous Parenting 101® a FREE multi-session substance abuse prevention education program designed to help parents understand the impact of drug abuse on youth and gives them the knowledge required to communicate more effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs and other risky behaviors. Get information on having Ginger Katz, CEO and founder of the Courage to Speak® Foundation, speak in your community!
For more information visit our website at www.couragetospeak.org and to find out how YOU can become a volunteer for The Courage to Speak Foundation call the office today at (203) 831-9700!
Have a SAFE summer!