The holiday season brings Cambridge families together and is also an occasion to keep your kids safe. The holidays, including New Year's Eve, are the biggest drinking times of the year.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you're organizing or hosting holiday parties with alcohol:
- Set some groundrules beforehand. Make sure they know what you expect from them, and remind them that they and their friends are not allowed to drink any alcohol that is present. If they are in a separate room, check in on them often.
- Consider the age of your tween or teen. When discussing groundrules, it may help to keep the conversation concrete. Focusing on why people drink and how people look and smell when they overindulge may help to explain your case to a younger teen. An older teen may be developmentally ready to hear about alcohol's effects on the body and the brain.
- Be a good role model. Tweens and teens are great observers of behavior. Know your own limits and set a good example in your own alcohol use.
- Talk to other parents. You can connect with them by phone or email. A sample email is available here.
- Clear up, lock up. After the party be sure to clean up and put your alcohol away.
In thinking ahead, to the New Year, consider making a few resolutions with your child. Here are some ideas:
- Make a resolution to spend more time together - maybe lunch or dinner just you and your son/daughter once a month;
- Make a resolution to talk more openly with one another about drugs or alcohol use;
- Make a resolution to get to know your daughter or son's friends and their parents better;
- Make a resolution to brainstorm exit strategies for situations where there's lots of peer pressure.
Whatever your resolution, find ways to hold eachother accountable, too! Happy New Year!
Cambridge families share their thoughts...
* Comments collected Nov. 2010
Download the Reality Check Tip list!
- Download this file