As parents, when our children are very young, we are involved in every aspect of their lives. We decide what they eat, where they go, who their friends are, and more. As they grow into their teenage years, we naturally give them more space to make their own decisions and choose their own path in the world. However, as we help prepare our teens to leave the nest, it’s important to remember that our role as parents is not over. In fact, in many ways, our teens need our support now more than ever. During the adolescent years, our teens come face to face with choices that can affect the rest of their lives, from deciding whether or not to drink alcohol or use drugs to deciding what to share or not share on social media.
Research consistently shows that teens are influenced by what their parents say when it comes to making choices For example, a recent study by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) found that only 8% of teens who said their parents thought underage drinking was unacceptable were drinkers themselves. In contrast, of teens who said their parents believe underage drinking is “somewhat unacceptable” or “completely acceptable”, 42% of those youth were drinkers.
In light of this information, how can you, as a parent, help your teenager make good choices? It all starts with awareness. Know what your teen is doing, where they are going, know their friends. Additionally, make yourself aware of current drug trends and warning signs that your teen may be engaging in harmful behaviors. Once you have the information, you can talk with your teenagers, let them know where you stand on these critical issues, and offer them support as they navigate their teen years.
And guess what? You don’t have to go it alone. The Alvin Police Department, Alvin ISD Police Department, and Alvin Community College Police Department are sponsoring Parent Awareness Night want to share their knowledge and expertise with concerned parents at Parent Awareness Night on September 3rd from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. It will be held at Nolan Ryan Center at 2925 South Bypass 35 in Alvin. Experts will present about signs and symptoms of drug use, dangers of synthetic marijuana, sexting, bullying, cyber-safety, and underage drinking.
Brazoria County Community Coalition (BCCC) of the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol (BACODA) will provide support for the Alvin Parent Awareness Night, and the Coalition is partnering with other law enforcement, school districts, and colleges around Brazoria County to bring Parent Awareness Night to several additional communities this fall.
The community is invited to attend this free event. Visit http://tx.bacoda.biz/AlvinParents for more information.
Dannielle Meyer is Coalition Coordinator for Brazoria County Community Coalition, a parent of twins trying to navigate the teenage years, and long-time resident of Alvin