Pool parties, bonfires, hot weather, beach parties and fun are all tempting factors of summer that not only excite teenagers but also make them prone to increasing their substance abuse tendencies. This is what makes Summer the right time for an intervention for not just adults but for teenagers as well.
If you are a parent how do you put into play “prevention” which ultimately prefaces “intervention”? Following are some strategies you can put into play in terms of prevention for your teen:
- Know where your teen is at all times. Take the time to get to know their friends, ask details about parties they will be attending, set concrete curfews, discuss consequences for violating curfews also including the child in deciding the consequences so when they require being carried out the teen cannot lay the blame on you, but rather, is held accountable for their own actions leading to the consequences. This is known as “contracting” and a very successful strategy to raising teens;
- Speak frankly to your teens about the risks affiliated with the use of drugs and alcohol and how it opens them up to risky behavior they otherwise wouldn’t be a part of.
- Provide them “outs” by being willing to make a plan in advance of their attending a party and letting them know if they are uncomfortable and want to leave a party you will come and pick them up immediately should they need to reach out and call you;
- Encourage them to choose their friends wisely, practice with them how to say “no” to uncomfortable situations and encourage them it’s okay to be “different from the majority” and say “no”;
- Motivate them to attend a summer camp, find a part-time job or take up a recreational activity that will fill idle time.
- Plan a family vacation if you can afford it. If not, plan short leisure trips with your teen or spend some one-on-one time with them. It’s proven while children like to receive gifts it is a parent’s time that they spare and spend with their child that means the most to the child, ultimately.
Being attuned to your teenager’s behavior, changes in their behaviors and making yourself available to them when you sense they need to talk is perhaps one of the best strategies you can implement. This is what makes Summer the perfect time for not only prevention but intervention.
Let the O’Connor Professional Group take the guesswork out of putting a treatment plan together. Our combined personal and professional experience empowers us to empower you with a private consultation and customized plan of action for getting the help you need. Call us today for information: 617 910-3940