School is officially out now but boy the last few weeks were busy. Between finals, parties, dances and graduation, Lexi has been running nonstop. Even though she is only a Sophmore right now, she has quite a few friends that just graduated and has been invited to a few parties that at first had me a little worried. Then I remembered that we have recently talked about making the right choices and of course the dangers of underage drinking.
We have spent a lot of time recently over at the Anheuser Busch’s Families Talking About Drinking website and talking about everything and I knew that I had already equipped Lexi with the tools she needed to make good choices, so I was able to relax. It really has helped us as a family to be more open and honest with each other. I mean they do have over 20 years of experience educating parents on how to communicate with their kids about drinking. I know it’s working too since research has shown that parents are the greatest influence on teens and their decisions about whether to drink alcohol, with an increase of 24% since 1991. As it turns out, there was no drinking at any of the parties she was invited to and that makes me feel proud that not only is Lexi not drinking, but she has chosen friends that also realize that you can have fun without alcohol.
As we learned in my post last month, How to Talk with your Teen about Drinking, MJ Corcoran teaches us that we are coaches at this stage of parenting with our teens. As coaches, we are responsible for finding windows of opportunity to talk to our teens, connecting with them, asking them open ended questions and encouraging accountability.
All of this talking has inspired me to ask Lexi to write me a list of fun activities for teens that do not involve alcohol (or other things we don’t want them doing).
- Go swimming (obviously a summer activity)
- Go to the movies
- Go to the mall
- Go bowling
- Play pool
- Go rollerskating
- Play video games
- Have a slumber party
- Hang out at the park
- Play sports, like basketball or volleyball
- Get together as a large group and play some kid games like hide & seek, no need to grow up too fast
- Sing & Dance like no one is watching
- Do makeovers and yes this does include the guys too, let the girls paint you up!
- Tell funny and scary stories
- Go to ComicCon and don’t forget to dress up (just went last weekend and it was amazing)
- Write (short stories, fan fictions etc)
- Do arts and crafts
- Spend time with pets
- Spend time with my mom!
Lexi enjoyed writing this list and it has helped her open up even more and ask some tough questions that she has had for awhile. The one question that has been plaguing her for awhile was about one of her old friends. This girl had started doing drugs and drinking and making other questionable choices and Lexi didn’t know how to deal with it. She told her friend that until she straightened up, she couldn’t be around her. She has been worried that she made the wrong decision ad finally asked me what I thought about it.
I think the Lexi handled a very difficult situation with great maturity and I am very proud of her for it. Was it the right choice for Lexi, yes, was it the right one for her friend? Only time will tell. I hope that this makes her realize that these things she is doing is not worth it, and that she could end up losing a lot of important people in her life, or worse. Again, I hope she does, but I know it’s not always that simple. That is why it is important to me to fully educate not only Lexi but myself as well about how to handle the pressures and dangers of underage drinking.
What fun activities would you or your teen add to this list? Lexi is looking for more ideas!