Talking With Your Teen About Festival Safety
GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance and other festivals in the area are often regarded as one of the highlights of summer as many of us gather together to share in music, dance, art, and community. GrassRoots is also regarded as a rite of passage for some teens as they attend the festival with friends and peers unsupervised by the adults in their lives.
Although the GrassRoots and other festivals are enjoyable and worthwhile events, they can pose risks for teens who are curious and eager for new experiences. As parents, it is important to engage your teen in conversation around how they will make safe and healthy choices while at the festivals. Communicating with your teen about alcohol and drug use is especially important.
Things to consider:
Talk to your teen about alcohol and other drug use at the festival, including strategies for how they will handle situations where s/he is offered alcohol or other drugs
Communicate with other parents
Ask questions and set boundaries
Communicate with your teen about how you expect them to behave
Encourage your teen to consider their future. How will the decisions they make today affect their future?
Be available to your teen and let them know you will be there if they run into trouble or find themselves in a situation that makes them feel unsafe
Make sure your teen has safe transportation
Maintain communication with your teen during the event and if possible, identify an adult (perhaps another parent) who would be present and available if needed
Find out if there is cell phone coverage and make a plan to communicate on a regular basis via the phone.
Help to make GrassRoots and other area festivals a safe and fun experience for your teens. Keep the communication lines open!
For more information regarding safety, rules around alcohol and underage drinking and other parent tips visit Community Coalition for Healthy Youth on the web at: http://www.healthyyouth.org/practical_tips.php#events
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