Now that your children are back in school and getting into the swing of things, there are many opportunities coming up for them. Sports, other extracurricular activities, parties with friends, and school dances are probably at the top of their list.
Homecoming is a great opportunity to start the school year off on the right foot. But in order to do this, and avoid the dangers that come with homecoming, you should set some ground rules with your teenagers. Make sure that they understand how to stay safe during homecoming.
Safety During the Homecoming Game
Homecoming oftentimes kicks off with a big football game for your teen’s school. If your teenager is attending the game, here are some general safety tips that they should follow:
- Don’t go to or leave the game in a car if the driver has been drinking. Offer to drive your child instead.
- Wear appropriate clothes. As the fall chill sets in, make sure your teen is properly dressed for the weather.
- Inform them of the consequences of drinking or doing drugs. These football games oftentimes take place on school property, which means additional consequences and school sanctions if they are caught.
Safety During and After the Homecoming Dance
If your teen wants to attend the homecoming dance or an after-party, it is a good idea to set specific rules and boundaries. “Don’t drink or you’ll be in trouble!” is not a clear threat and therefore, your kids may try to test the boundaries.
Something like, “if you break curfew, no video games for a week”, or “I will be waiting for you to get home to make sure you weren’t drinking. If you do drink, you will be grounded for a month” is clearer and more real to teenagers. Make sure that your threats have meaning as well. Your teen will blow off the consequences if they think that you aren’t being serious.
Another issue that you can discuss with your kids ahead of time is peer pressure. Oftentimes, kids will engage in reckless behavior not because they want to, but because they think it will make them cool or help them be accepted by others. Discuss some strategies that your kids can use to avoid peer pressure so that they can be confident when going to the homecoming dance or homecoming parties. Here are 20 great strategies to consider.
Also remember that if you want to host a party for your teen and their friends, you take on the responsibility of keeping all people at the party safe. If anyone is caught with alcohol, drugs, or any other illegal material, you will be held legally responsible. This could lead to serious fines and even jail time. If a minor is injured as a result of issues at the party, you could also be on the hook for a personal injury lawsuit.
Talking to Your Kids
Discussing specific situations with your teens before homecoming can help them understand what is ok and what is not ok. It can also reduce your fears around homecoming, and help your kids feel less nervous about the experience. For additional information and resources, contact my office. I am happy to help.