Summer is officially here, and the relief and freedom felt by most teenagers across the United States is accompanied by the concern and worry that many parents are experiencing about their children’s well being. Now that your kids are out of school, how can you be sure that they will stay out of trouble? How do you know that they won’t get involved with drugs? There are things that you can do to help them stay safe and enjoy a drug-free summer. Check out the awesome summer events hosted by NEO and YMCA Gold Country.
11 Tips you can use to Power-Up your Parenting this summer:
- Parent’s TALK…They hear you – Don’t assume that your children have fully gotten the message about staying away from drugs at school, in the media or elsewhere. Even if they have heard it countless times, it will have more of an impact when delivered one-on-one and with you expressing your sincere concern.
- Know your stuff – If you talk to your kids directly and honestly, they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about alcohol use. When parents know about underage alcohol use, they can protect their children from many of the high-risk behaviors associated with it. Teens these days are advancing in areas of technology at such a speed that it can be challenging to keep up. Just remember that there are a lot of opinions available on the internet, albeit, some teens will argue just for the sake of arguing… However, make YOUR rules and expectations clear and get ahead of the curve ball by conducting a little research of your own from reputable sources.
- Don’t Let them Go to Unsupervised Parties – This doesn’t mean “don’t let them go anywhere”… Just be cautious and, again, know your stuff. Summertime often sees parties where teens take advantage of the fact that parents may be out of town, or when teens host parties outdoors in different locations away from the prying eyes of adults, and they do this for a reason. Make sure that there will be responsible adults present at any parties that your children might be going to.
Sign the Parent Pledge while you’re at it…
- Maintain an Open Channel of Communication – After talking with your teens about drugs, make sure that they feel comfortable discussing the subject with you. To do this, you need to avoid making the talk a stern lecture; keep it relaxed and invite your child to share his or her views on the subject. The more communication you and your child can have on the subject, the better will be the understanding and the more that your child will want to avoid doing anything that would disappoint you. Need some talking points? Click HERE for talking points on underage drinking.
- Keep Unsupervised Time to a Minimum – In all likelihood, there will be long hours during the work week when you will not be able to be there with your children to supervise their activities, but this doesn’t mean that you should just leave them to their own devices. Try to arrange things so that they’re with an adult as much as possible, whether at a friend’s house, coming with you to work, visiting with family, etc.
- Always Know Who They’re with and What They’re Doing – This is an extension of knowing your stuff and open communication. Your teen could easily spend most of the summer doing things you don’t have any idea about and spending time with friends you have never met, and you would have no idea what happened. Take the time to ask questions and keep tabs on their schedules and social scene.
- Point Out the Media Influence – Movies, TV, music, video games and more are filled with references to drug use, and in many cases the media not only normalizes drugs but makes them seem glamorous. Discuss this with your children to make sure that they’re aware of the message that’s being pushed, rather than passively accepting it as part of the show. For more information on technology awareness, read the Media section of the Parent U Toolkit or watch this quick video by Detective Zack La Ferriere from Parent U 2014. TOOLKIT VIDEOS
- Acknowledge and Reward Them – While you can focus on the things that your kids should not be doing, you should also pay attention to the good things that they do. By doing so, you can help to build up your child’s self-esteem and confidence, leading to a better outlook and overall level of happiness. If your child feels really loved and has a stable home life, there will be fewer reasons or excuses to use drugs. Check out the 40 Developmental Assets for ways to praise
- Help them Get Involved in Summer Activities – Summer break doesn’t have to mean idle days and aimless hours. In most areas of the country, there are plenty of activities going on, from organized sports, to summer camps, to volunteer activities. By choosing fun and engaging activities that keep your teen occupied and interested, you can reduce the opportunity to get involved with drugs. Check out summer happenings courtesy of Community Support Network (CSN) and Family Resource Centers (FRC)
- Help them Find a Job – If you can help your teen get a summer job, you can not only rest assured knowing that he or she will be busy and most likely supervised for much of the week, but also take stock in the fact that working and earning a paycheck can make an enormous difference in helping your teen to grow up. The responsibility of holding down a job can be a great deterrent to drug use. Check out One Stop Business Career Center
- Set a Good Example – This is one of the most important things that you can do to help your teens avoid drug use. Don’t underestimate the effect that the things that you say and do have on shaping your children’s opinions and attitudes towards life. Be upbeat and driven, be compassionate and caring, and practice responsible alcohol use. According to middle and high school students surveyed throughout the 2014-15 school year by The Outreach Team, MOST teens WANT to be a positive influence on younger siblings and kids.
NEO – New Events and Opportunities
Youth Center Drop-in Hours – youth 11 – 18 – July 1, 2015
139 Joerschke Dr, Grass Valley, CA 95945
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
July 2, 2015
South Auburn Street
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Art Walk – July 3, 2015
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
York St, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
Guerrilla Games – all ages – July 6, 2015
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Pioneer Park, 421 Nimrod Street, Nevada City, CA 95959, United States
YMCA Gold Country
YMCA Day Camp for 5-12 year old kids
Camp runs in weekly sessions, from July 6-August 14th. YMCA serves children 5-12, with a Leader-in-Training program for children 13-15.
Camp hours are 8am-5pm including drop-off and pickup. The $115/week camp fee includes lunch, afternoon snack, a couple of pool admissions, and any field trips taken.
YMCA offers financial aid, with hopes of giving every camp-age child in the community the opportunity to attend summer camp!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and an application.
YMCA “Leader in Training Program” for 13-15 year old kids
The training program will kick off with a two-day Training Intensive on July 6th and 7th at Memorial Park. Participants will then be given the option to volunteer at day camp, from one to six weeks.
Training Intensive cost is $65 (financial assistance available), and includes the following topics, presented in group activities, group presentations, and lectures:
- LIT expectations, YMCA core values; how to write a resume/interview practice; bullying and how to prevent/stop bullying at camp; games, skits, songs, activities; communication: how to communicate with campers, counselors, parents, and coordinators; ages and stages; appropriate ways to physically interact with children; types of abuse: characteristics and what to do if you suspect; basic first aid; how to redirect campers instead of disciplining; teamwork and problem solving.
Email email@example.com for an application. Applications accepted until July 6th.