Friday, May 30, 2008

A Warning for Parents of Teens

Our local high school held its annual "Mock Crash" today. This event simulates a fatality crash caused by teens drinking and driving. While I have seen other staged crashes that had more of an emotional impact (maybe it was less intense due to the sheer number of 1500+ kids attending or maybe they are so hyped up about graduation that they didn't fully pay attention), the message is nonetheless, important for all parents as well as teens:
  • Drinking and driving is the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide.

  • The time around prom and graduation is the most common time for teen DUI fatalities.

  • They say that after midnight, every tenth driver on the road is under the influence.

  • Parents need to let their teens know that anytime they need a ride home because either they or their friend who is driving is intoxicated, they can call and get a ride home with no questions asked and no third degree the next day. Then parents need to keep their word.

  • Parents need to keep their kids occupied and pay a lot of attention to them. Many teens say that boredom or the thought that their parents don't care what they do are reasons for drinking and doing drugs.

  • Parents need to set a good example. When parents drink irresponsibly and/or buy alcohol for their teens, they are sending the wrong message.

The bottom line is that teens need to be protected. I have seen too many parents devastated by the death of a child who was a vibrant, active and an integral part of a family and community one minute then dead the next. It is a tragedy that parents, and families, never recover from.

1 comment:

  1. Very good post - the loss of these teens is a massive loss to society and for no good reason. Parenting skills are key.