From cheering on your budding football star to lending a helping hand in float building, homecoming is an unforgettable part of the school year that gives parents a chance to get involved. But before you get caught up in the excitement, be sure to reinforce your expectations about underage drinking with your teens.
Use these tips to create and open and honest conversation before, during and after homecoming to ensure a fun and safe weekend:
1. Be consistent.
Homecoming is a special occasion, but that doesn’t warrant a free pass to loosen your expectations. Easing up, even just once, sends the message that your rules and guidelines aren’t to be taken seriously. Mixed messages can be dangerous when it comes to underage drinking.
2. Be engaging.
Anytime you talk to your kids about underage drinking, it should be a two-way discussion. Ask them open-ended questions, and listen to what they have to say. This gives you the chance to mitigate any concerns that your kids may have and make sure everyone is on the same page.
3. Be approachable.
If your teens feel comfortable talking to you about some of the issues they may be facing, they’re more likely to be honest with you and respect the boundaries you set for them.
4. Be the example.
You are your child’s greatest teacher. Much of what they’ll learn about responsibility will come from you. That said, it’s important to hold yourself to high standards to ensure positive influence and encourage responsibility.
5. Follow up.
After the event, ask questions about your teen’s homecoming experience. Encourage them to be honest with you, and reiterate that your expectations regarding underage drinking apply to all social scenarios. This follow-up discussion reinforces consistency and keeps the conversation going. If things didn’t go as planned, talk about that! It is very easy to avoid these critical conversations.
For more tips on communicating with your teen about a safe and responsible homecoming, visit the Coach section of our website.
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