OUR VIEW - Spring break opportunity for parents

There will be a party this week. There will be teenagers in attendance. There will be drinking and/or drug use. Naturally, we hope we are wrong about that last prediction, but we're getting it from teachers and administrators who have a lot of breaks under their belts.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010

There will be a party this week. There will be teenagers in attendance. There will be drinking and/or drug use.

Naturally, we hope we are wrong about that last prediction, but we're getting it from teachers and administrators who have a lot of breaks under their belts.

Spring break, along with Christmas break, is one of the primary opportunities for students, athletes and non-athletes alike, to break out, cut loose and tie one on. Today's youth are busier than ever, and they deserve their break, and they deserve to have a good time. We just hope they can do it responsibly.

While the school board mulls whether to pursue random drug testing, now is the time for parents to step in and make sure the problem isn't happening on their watch. After all, studies have shown that they are probably the only ones that can do anything about the problem at all.

Parents who take at least 10 of the following 12 steps can reduce the risk of substance abuse in their children four fold.

Parents who want to help their children behave responsibly should:

monitor what they watched on TV

put restrictions on the music they listen to

know where their children are after school and on weekends

expect to be told the truth by their children about where they are going on evenings or weekends

be "very aware" of their children's academic performance

monitor what they do on the Internet

impose a curfew

make it clear they would be "extremely upset" if their children use pot

eat dinner with their children almost every night

turn off the TV during dinner

assign their children regular chores

have an adult present when their children return home from school

(Source: Adamhs Board)

This week is a high-risk week for teens. If parents haven't already, it's as good a time as any in fact, it might be just in the nick of time for them reevaluate the family routine. Being a parent is hard work, but it's also a noble calling. Parents can do more to help their children grow into responsible adults than anyone else.