High school graduation is a big day for everyone involved. The teenagers are excited to earn their diploma after four years of high school. The parents are proud to see their children walk across the stage. However, some teenagers may decide to “spice up” their graduation by consuming drugs or alcohol after the event at parties. This is particularly dangerous, because many teenagers don’t see the risks of driving while under the influence. More than three million young people drive under the influence of alcohol. Teenagers who lack experience with alcohol may end up drinking too much and passing out. When too much alcohol is consumed, it affects the central nervous system. Natural reflexes like gagging and breathing can be suppressed which means the drinker could unconsciously vomit and then choke on their vomit.
What’s the main reason not to serve alcohol at a graduation party? First of all, it’s illegal. This mother reluctantly allowed her daughter to host a party on her property. The party was supposed to be alcohol free and the mother even hired a neighbor to check I.D.s and mark Xs on the hands of underage people. However, as of 10 p.m. the I.D. checker had left his post and the party was revving up. The mother went to bed, expecting that everything had calmed down. The mother’s choice to allow her daughter to host a party was a poor decision which would lead to a misdemeanor criminal conviction and expensive legal battles surrounding a crash that left an 18-year-old party guest dead. It started as a fun party to celebrate graduation, yet it ended with one young man gone forever.
Talk to your teenager about drinking and using drugs. Research shows that parents do make a difference.
Tips for Talking to Your Teenager:
1. Set specific rules that your teen must follow. Inform them about the punishment should they choose to break the rules.
2. Don’t be concerned about what other parents are doing. Your teenager might say, “But Mom/Dad, Joey’s parents are letting him have alcohol at his party!” The best response to this type of complaint is to tell your teen that it’s illegal to give minors alcohol. End of discussion.
3. Band together with like-minded parents. Joey’s parents might be willing to risk jail time to serve alcohol at his party, but do you know of other parents who are anti-alcohol for underage kids? Get together with them and form a game plan.
4. Don’t be afraid of losing your child’s love, be afraid of losing them.