Prom and graduation season is fast approaching, and teens are anxious to celebrate! While these events can be a fun rite of passage for teens, without proper guidance, they can also become opportunities for poor decision making. Research tells us that upwards of 50% of teens who drink are drinking to get drunk, and teenagers who are under the influence of alcohol may easily find themselves in a variety of bad situations including:

  • *Driving under the influence
  • *Being taken advantage of
    *Injuries from falls
  • Parents have an important role in helping their teens learn how to celebrate safely. Here are some helpful tips for having a good time while staying sober and safe:
  • Teens Need A Plan: Have conversations with them early and often about what kind of sober activities and fun they would like to have with their friends.  Sober fun is harder to plan than chemically induced “fun,” so encourage them to think ahead; help them come up with ideas for things to do or ways to earn the money they might need to put their plan into action.
  • Who, What, When, & Where: Being informed about who your teen will be with and who is supervising them is not being “too nosey.”  If there is resistance from your teen about providing these details, that’s a sign that poor decision making will be part of their celebrating.  Ask your teen for names and numbers.  A little detective work can go a long way.
  • Boundaries Based On Trust: It’s good for parents to give their teens the appropriate amount of freedom for celebrations based on trust that has been earned in the past.  If you have reason to doubt their decision making abilities, it’s ok to set stricter limits for them.
  • Provide A Safe Environment: Parents can provide safe environments, free of chemicals and temptation, where their youth can have a good time close to home. It is important to provide these opportunities, so youth don’t have to look elsewhere for places to celebrate.
  • For assistance on how to have these conversations, stop into the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau for a free Parent Support Meeting on Thursday nights at 6:30pm. You’ll receive parenting support and find supportive staff to talk about ideas.


For more information, contact Sarah Mullen at Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau at 651-464-3685 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.