How should you keep your teen out of trouble over spring break?

Spring break is a time when teens let loose: from school, obligations and parents. Teens should be aware of the price they might have to pay for risky behavior. Parents should take the time to communicate their concerns to their teens, and lay down the law for teen behavior. Tell your teens exactly what you expect from them, and what behaviors you have zero-tolerance for. Talk with your teen about health and safety rules for spring break and define the consequences. Discuss all the potential dangers and the hazardous situations with your teens before they get out and get wild; but first you have to know what those dangers are. Knowledge of the activities that teens are involved in can help you keep your teen safe from harm.

Substance abuse is high on the list of potential dangers for teens. Know the signs of abuse, and discuss the dangers involved with your teen. Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, both in social situations and while driving. Car crashes and injuries are a known danger for teens on spring break. Impaired judgment can also make teens vulnerable to risky situations, and for girls that may include sexual harassment, which may even lead to physical abuse. Be prepared to discuss responsible sexual behavior, the risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies. Make clear what you consider to be appropriate and acceptable behavior, and strengthen your teen's confidence in making the right decisions. Discuss the importance of the safety issues that you raise and the restrictions that you place on your teen; get your teenager to commit to the rules before he or she leaves for spring break.




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