Parents of high school age teens likely don’t need the calendar to remind them that homecoming season is once again in full swing. The excitement is nearly palpable as your teenager plans their homecoming dance wardrobe and plots their course for the big night.
But don’t allow your kids to get so caught up in the excitement that they make foolhardy plans that include drinking and driving. The below tips may help you convince your teen that a sober homecoming is the only experience to have.
Arrange for a professional driver
Groups of parents who can afford it sometimes like to spring for a limo or party bus to transport their teens out to dinner, to the dance and after-party and back home after the festivities have ended. But if that is not in your price range and you have concerns about young, inexperienced drivers operating late at night, prearrange an Uber or Lyft ride for the kids.
You don’t need alcohol to have a good time
This is a good message to bring to the table. Many problem drinkers got their start as underage kids hitting the booze out of the mistaken belief that alcohol usage is equated with a good time. That can set your child up for a lifetime of substance abuse and related problems if they believe that they need to be buzzed to enjoy themselves.
Be firm about consequences
The problem of underage drinking and DUIs is exacerbated by the still-developing prefrontal cortex section of teens’ brains. That area is responsible for executive functioning, or what parents like to think of as good decision-making. If your child is a typical teen, they may still require a little bit more time to reach maturity and make the best decisions.
Help your kids understand how their poor decisions now to drink and drive can follow them the rest of their lives — and the lives of those whom they harm as a result.
Turn to us for assistance in worst-case scenarios
Despite parents’ best intentions, some teenagers will make mistakes. If your child’s mistakes include a homecoming night DUI arrest, we can help you plan a workable defense to the charges and ameliorate the damage their poor choices have caused.