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School is out: Preventing social hosting

School is out: Preventing social hosting

Summer is a time of freedom and relaxation. Parents tend to relax on curfews, schedules and even social rules. Social hosting can seem harmless, particularly when sitting back and having a drink with the neighbors. It takes a village to set a good example and encourage activities that are age appropriate.

Neighborhood nights

Neighbors provide a strong support group and a watchful eye. Each city recognizes local communities with a National Night Out. Impromptu get-togethers can happen weekly. Gather the kids together to roast smores or have a kickball game. Frisbee, bocce ball and yard dice adds some competition and skill for any length of time.

Fun with family and friends

Plan picnics, exploration days and chore days ahead of time. Summer may mean relaxed schedules but planning is still needed for outings and to get the day-to-day tasks done at home. Put a family calendar together. Make lists of food needed. Headed to an evening concert in the park? Assign each family member a task: who will make sandwiches, who will gather blankets, who will keep track of extra sweatshirts and handy wipes?

There are so many fun summer ideas to take advantage of in the summer with family and friends. Plan ahead and enjoy as many as you can. Many communities offer outdoor movies, sport events and community fairs. Take advantage of all the opportunities in your town: bike paths, lakes and recreation parks.

Promote the cause

When kids have a lot of time on their hands, they experiment and search for things to fill the day. Daytime hours give kids opportunities to be on their own, which can be a great way to develop independence. It can also open them up to risk of social pressures such as underage drinking and recreational drugs.

Steps to take at home: lock up alcohol. You may trust your child, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Supervise bonfires and gatherings. Teens are resourceful. Keep a safe eye open. Meet your kid’s friends. Ask them questions about their family while welcoming them into your home. Build a trust between you and your kid’s friends.

Promote the campaigns in your area that support safety and community engagement. Give Yourself a Chance educates youth on the risks of alcohol use and encourages kids to resist peer pressure. Nurturing God’s Way combines Christian faith with nurturing parenting practice. These programs create awareness of topics that kids face particularly as they grow older.

Know of a local campaign in your area? Share the program with us. Stay engaged with your kids this summer. Encourage positive experiences and remember, parents who host, lose the most.

Image Copyright: Stuart Miles/123RF

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