5 Tips to Keep Your Child’s Holiday Safe and Alcohol-Free
During the holiday season, it is very important to make sure that your teenager is safe especially when they may be faced with holiday parties and the free flowing of alcohol. While holidays are certainly a time to celebrate, it does not give anyone a reason to make poor decisions. Instead, take these precautionary steps to ensure that your teenager remains safe this holiday season.
1) Find out about any safe ride programs that might be available in your area. Take advantage of these services, especially if you think your college age student may possibly be drinking. While you don’t want to encourage them to drink, you also want to educate them if they choose to do so anyway.
2) Speak your concerns. For an older teen, it may be harder to control their actions. In many cases, they have their own car or have been away at college for several years before turning 21. This is where it gets hard to speak with your older teen. Clearly communicate your expectations of them when it comes to drinking and driving.
3) Arrange for a sober designated driver (DD) to drive home after a holiday gathering. This includes if you all are traveling together to a family party. Set a good example by not driving under the influence, and make sure you talk to your teen about not getting in a car with another driver who is intoxicated. Always offer to pick up your teen no matter the circumstance. It’s also a good idea to know where they are going or who they are staying with. Your teen should feel comfortable to know they can call you without fear, otherwise they may decide to hide their drinking from you and then make decisions that put their life in danger.
4) Don’t make alcohol the center of your holiday party fun. Teach your teen how to be festive and have a good time alcohol-free. Have music, games, dancing and serve delicious and fun party food! Keep food choices in mind. For example, meats and cheeses are high in protein, keeping your body from absorbing alcohol as quickly, whereas salty snacks tend to make people drink more. The less salt the better!
5) Provide festive, non-alcoholic drinks at your holiday party. Check out 20 Non-Alcoholic Party Drinks from Tablespoon.com or 15 Non-Alcoholic Mocktails from TheKitchn.com for some fun and tasty ideas.
Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season!