People are buzzing with excitement now that we’ve reached the holiday season, especially about those big Black Friday sales.    But if you are a parent, make sure you concentrate on the important things this week.

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There’s no doubt that these last 6 weeks of the year will be filled with cheer as we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah, and New Years.

And while these are great times between family and friends, we also have to remember this can be a time of excess and abuse, especially for adolescents.

Most parents are aware that New Year’s Eve is a night to keep a closer eye on their teen, but are they aware that the night before Thanksgiving is a big night for partying? And while kids may be out drinking and drugs, it all is overlooked because mom and dad are very busy planning travel, shopping, or cooking plans. The turkey takes plenty of preparation and we know the multitude of stops at the store to tackle all of the trimmings.

But somewhere during all of this running around, we need to stop and talk to our kids. The night before Thanksgiving is a popular night for unchaperoned parties, bars, and DUIs. Parents should stop and talk to their kids, not only about the plans for Thanksgiving, but what their child is doing the night before. They may need to ask more questions than a typical Friday or Saturday night. Teens know who goes out of town for the holidays. And with the right amount of cajoling, they could even get the keys to those vacant homes from their friends.

So if your son or daughter tells you that they are going to “______” home, makes sure that family is in town. Your child could be telling your the truth, or half of it. When they say they are going to the Jones’ home, they may not be lying, but they may not be telling you that the Jones family is half way across the country. Teens use these homes for partying all of the time. This isn’t being invasive either. It’s being a responsible parent.

As students have more vacation and off days around the holidays, they will be more inclined to attend parties, use alcohol, or try drugs. Kids may even buy more drugs than normal to stock up for the holidays.

Positive parenting, and active involvement are key in helping keep your child off of drugs. Parents need to be vigilant that alcohol and drugs are absolutely off-limits for minors. It’s not only wrong, it’s illegal.

Black Friday may be the big highlight of this upcoming week, but make sure that Black Friday is all about shopping, and not the mourning of a loved one, or someone in your community, who wasn’t properly supervised over the holiday.

 

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