How Can We, as Parents, Prevent Underage Drinking and Drug Use and TIP the Scale in Iroquois County?
Store any alcohol and drugs you have at home in an area that is not accessible to teens. Keep track of your supply.
ESTABLISH AND ENFORCE RULES
Communicate clear rules and consequences regarding underage drinking and drug use. Emphasize that you care about your child and want to ensure their safety.
ACT ON TEACHABLE MOMENTS
After watching a TV program that glamorizes drinking/drug use, ask what your kids think about how the media portrays alcohol/drug use; what they think about teen drinking/drug use and why they think some of their friends say no.
SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
Be a good role model for your teen. Drink responsibly and discuss how you neither drink and drive nor provide alcohol for minors.
Get to know both your teen’s friends and their parents. Share your stand on underage drinking and drug use with other parents and find out their views. This can provide you with additional support.
ENCOURAGE POSITIVE ALTERNATIVES TO ALCOHOL
Sometimes teens drink or use drugs because they are bored. Encourage your child to participate in activities/sports or volunteer-work. Suggest that your teen invite friends to hang out at your home.
DEVELOP A PEER PRESSURE PLAN
The more prepared your teen is, the better able they will be to handle a difficult situation that may arise involving drinking/drug use. Let your teen know that they can call you anytime. Discuss possible responses your teen could use if offered alcohol/drugs. Practice with your teen the refusal skills that are taught in the Life Education Center.
SUPPORT YOUR TEEN
The teenage years are a stressful time. They are busy discovering who they are, struggling to become more independent, and figuring out how they fit in with their peers. Help them find ways to cope.
Find out if an adult will be present. Tell your teen to call to check in periodically. You can drop by unexpectedly, too. Create a secret text code that can be sent by your teen to let you know if he/she needs help getting out of a difficult situation. Trust your teen, but take the time to confirm their whereabouts and activities. Be present at curfew when your teen arrives home and talk with them. Teens are less likely to drink and use drugs if they think their parents will find out.
TIP the Scale Tuesday Celebrity Posts on Facebook
On Tuesdays, TIP the Scale's Facebook page recognizes Juvenile Justice Council of Iroquois County members and supporters for their extraordinary work in the field of prevention. The featured local "celebrity" shares helpful TIPs and resources with parents and grandparents. The JJC greatly values its partnerships amongst coalition and community members. When everyone works together, our community reaps the benefits and truly shines.
Parents, together we can support each other; share strategies that are tried and true. We can help our teens say yes to healthy choices, yes to our love-and no to alcohol and other substances.