This is a sponsored post on behalf of First Check.
It's holiday party season, and along with prom and graduation season, there are plenty of pressures that exist for teens during this time. Parenting can be so complicated – while you absolutely want to maintain trust with your children, you also want to be a parent, and set rules and boundaries. It's a delicate balance. If your child is headed to a party where you think they may experience some peer pressure, follow these tips to ensure they are staying safe while still having fun!
Preparing Kids for Pressures That Come With Parties
Talk About Pressures
Maintain an open dialogue with your kids about the pressures they may face both at parties and in their everyday lives. notMYkid, a nonprofit organization that educates families on negative youth behavior, recommends having regular conversations about drugs and alcohol. They suggest asking open-ended questions at the dinner table, when it's easier to talk face-to-face (maintain a no technology at the table rule to maximize communication). Listen with an open mind, and talk to your kids very candidly about these pressures. It's not easy being a teen, and they will appreciate your assistance – even if it may not initially seem that way.
If your teens are headed to a party this holiday season, it's absolutely appropriate to set strong limits and boundaries. Let them know what your expectations are for the party, and establish an appropriate curfew. If your child is getting a ride to the party, make sure you know who is driving and when they will be home.
Focus on Education
Kids need to understand why your household rules exist. Instead of developing rules that may seem arbitrary to a child, explain WHY it's so important that they follow rules and avoid illegal substances. The “why” is so important at this age, especially when they are questioning everything and want to be independent.
If you'd like to drug test your child after a party, First Check has several home test kit options available. First Check offers five different products, which can detect up to 12 commonly abused substances – 7 street drugs and 5 prescription drugs. All tests offer results within 5 minutes with over 99% accuracy, and can be done in the privacy of your own home. The tests are easy to use, tamper-free, and positive tests can be sent to First Check’s lab for free, confidential confirmatory testing.
notMYkid recommends approaching home drug tests like you would a report card. Reward clean test results by offering extended privileges or other benefits. Let your child know that you understand the difficulties and pressures they may be facing, and maintain an open dialogue.
Develop a Safe Out
It can be hard for kids to make good choices if they don't have an “out” when pressured to use drugs. Work with them to come up with answers to pressures, and make sure they understand that you can pick them up early from a party if they feel uncomfortable. notMykid suggests kids explain to their peers that they cannot partake in any illegal activities, as they may face a drug test at home. Even something as simple as saying, “Sorry, I can’t do that. My parents are crazy and drug test me after parties” can be exactly what a teen needs to get out of a sticky situation.
First Check testing kits can be purchased in your local pharmacy or in the pharmacy section of your local retailer. Visit First Check to learn more.
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