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Summertime for teenagers is often associated with more freedom. The school year, sports, afterschool classes are over and the long days of summer can bring lazy days and less structure. It’s the time of the year that young adults dream for! However, for working parents, this time of year can pose a serious challenge. The kids are home all day, sometimes without much or any supervision and this provides ample opportunity for them to get into trouble. In some cases, friends might get their hands on drugs or an alcohol cabinet might be raided and your child might find himself in the situation of having to stand-up to peer pressure. To start the summer off on the right track, it’s worth having a conversation about what to do if a situation arises where they are presented with drugs and alcohol. For parents, here are some tips to help your teen stay away from trouble this summer:

Tip # 1: Focus on Your Teen's Skill Development

One of the top reasons why teenagers experiment with drugs is simply out of boredom. Therefore, if your family can afford it, camps or organized extracurricular activities that are supervised by adults are the way to go. If cost is an issue, look into activities at your local community center. They often provide art, music and sports classes at reasonable prices. If your child has been showing a lot of interest in music, this might be the time to buy him the guitar he wants. Or, decent tennis rackets can be purchased rather inexpensively and with local public courts often standing empty, this is another avenue to pursue. If he has a skill to develop, it will focus his time and pay off for everyone in the end.

Tip # 2: Spend Time with your Teen

Studies continue to show that another huge factor in the adolescent’s decision to get involved with alcohol or drugs, is when they experience a lack of attention from parents at home. The more time you spend with you children, the less likely it is he will be taking drugs and alcohol. The point here is that even though you have to go to work everyday, be sure to make them feel how much they matter to you. It is important that you take time after work each night to have meaningful conversations with your child. The more open your communication with them is, the more they will confide in you. This conversation will create an environment where they feel open to telling you if they are feeling peer pressure to get involved with drugs or alcohol.

Tip # 3: Use the Internet to your Benefit

Teenagers are fluent on computers and enjoy spending time on them. Use the internet in your favor by purchasing an online drug and alcohol awareness class. You can take these classes together, or let your teenager browse through them at her own pace. In these classes, your child will learn about the adverse effects of drugs and alcohol to the body. It will be explained in such a way that your teen will understand that drugs give pleasure only for a short time, but will harm the body for a lifetime. They will also learn tactics to confidently avoid and say “no” to drugs, even when their friends are partaking. Online classes specifically for young adults are designed to keep their interest and will arm them with the facts they need to know to help them stay away from drugs and alcohol.

There are times in almost everyone's life that he or she will be exposed to drugs and alcohol. It’s inevitable in today’s world. Keeping an open line of communication with your teen, getting them involved in a sport or other passion, and having them take an alcohol and drug awareness class will all help in keeping them on the right track this summer.