Don't Get Tricked by Your Teens This Halloween
Teenagers today have a lot of different ways to trick parents and keep their social behavior secret from their home life. They've got their cell phones, cameras, social media that can help teens shield their drug or alcohol use from parents. That's why it's crucial that parents never underestimate their teenagers, ask questions about friends and after-school activities and talk openly with their children about the risks of substance abuse. Maintaining an open dialogue with children throughout their teen years is a key component in keeping them safe, healthy and drug free.
Some cautionary behavior parents should look for include:
Sleep-Over Sneak Outs:Although you may be home when your teen has friends sleep-over, it’s possible that while you’re sound asleep your “guests” are sneaking out of your house to either walk somewhere else or be picked up in a car down the street to go to a party.
Incredible Vanishing Medicine Bottle: The most alarming trend with Arizona teens today is prescription medicine abuse. 1 out of 4 kids has tried a prescription drug to get high. Please take action and safeguard your medicine cabinet.
Turning Water into Wine:An old trick – This is where your teen steals alcohol from your liquor cabinet and then, if necessary, makes up the difference in the bottle’s volume by adding water.
After-School Freedom:After school when you are still at work, your child and his friend might congregate at your empty house and do as they please until you arrive home. A few hours is plenty of time to experiment.
When the Cat is Away…:Your teen insists on going to a friend’s house for the night when you’re going out for the evening. Once you’ve left, your teen returns home to your unsupervised house with a group of friends. (Watch out for: holidays, anniversaries and other special occasions.)
The Cameo Appearance:When attending a school dance, your teen is allowed to leave the dance at any point in the evening. Why is this a problem? Many couples will take their picture at the dance to prove that they attended and then go to an empty house to party.
For a complete list of helpful signs to understanding teen behavior and access to prevention tips and tools to help get the conversation started with your teen this month, visit drugfreeAz.org.
Research from the Partnership has consistently found that kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs, yet only 31 percent of kids report learning about the risks of drugs at home.