Last time, we invited you to share advice with other Michigan parents about how to talk to students about Spring Break choices, including alcohol and staying safe. Below are some of the responses we received:
Parents, we have more influence than we think. The most important thing is to address the issues that can come up when a student travels for Spring Break.
When my daughter wanted a Spring Break where we both knew drinking would be rampant, I had to play the bad guy and firmly said 'NO' (which I truly think she appreciated, though she'd never admit it). Once she calmed down, I suggested that we go somewhere fabulous with another mother/daughter duo, and now she's super happy and excited, and we're both looking forward to Spring Break instead of dreading it.
I definitely talk with my teenagers about drinking; they are aware and informed, yet they are still human, and temptation teases us all. That's why, whenever I can, I minimize the opportunity for temptation to strike.
It is important that students know the local, state, or country laws for the town they will be traveling to. Laws can vary quite a bit and many students can be naive in thinking that the laws or consequences will be the same as they are in Ann Arbor. Help them figure out how to find out that information.
It is important to have them talk about what their goals are for the trip and help them decide if their destination can help them achieve those--it is really hard if it goes bad and they come back to school more stressed out than when they left.
If you’re looking for more ideas, here’s an article from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). It describes different parenting styles, and offers tips for talking with children and adolescents about alcohol and safety.
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