I stumbled across this interesting article yesterday and it raises some really great ideas about what parents can do to help steer their kids away from alcohol: family rules. The rules included in the article were: 1) Make Family Dinner Non-Negotiable. // 2) Educate them and yourself about “scaring the crap out of you”. // 3) Do not condone alcohol or drug abuse directly or indirectly.
I really thought these family rules were worthwhile, especially when the writer discussed them in greater detail individually. I think I’d like to add several family rules to stick to in addition to the great ones above! (If you use these, feel free to add your own!)
4) Know your kid’s friends. // While this may seem self-explanatory to most of you, many parents do not know who their teens are hanging out with on a daily, weekly basis. It is absolutely imperative that you get to know your child’s friend group and if you do not approve of certain individuals for legitimate reasons, take a stand and talk with your child about your reasons for wanting them to disassociate with them.
5) Know your kid’s friends’ parents. // This is another big one that may seem “duh” to some parents and “whuh?” to others. Though your child may have a really classy friend, that friend’s parents might condone alcohol abuse when in their home. You need to know and be comfortable with a child’s parents before allowing your teen to spend time in the home of those parents. Know where your teen is hanging out!
6) Require your child to call/text you periodically throughout an evening away from home. // Depending on how much you feel you can trust your teen, this may be relaxed to a degree, but it is a good idea for you to establish an expectation that teens will communicate with you about their whereabouts and what they are doing when they are spending huge chunks of time away from home.
7) Require your child to participate in at least 1 extracurricular activity. // You don’t want to overload your child with too many extracurricular activities or they might become too stressed, but having 1 or 2 outside-of-school past times can be very healthy, social, and fun for your child. Consider sports, dance, martial arts, music lessons, or another activity that interests them.
I encourage you to read the original article. They make some very good points about the three rules they chose. What sorts of family rules does your household live by in an effort to keep your teens healthy and drug-free? Share with us!