In the closing of this school year 2018 and the beginning of this summertime, June especially, is an action-packed month! It’s exiting, it’s animated, it’s lighter, and it’s also a lot of times chaotic and can always be a little risky for kids, teens, and their families. Our Angels at Risk message is to please pay attention.
According to the survey below from the SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveal four startling statistics that every parent should know. During the summer months first time drug use among teens is at it’s highest.
- On an average summer day, about
11,000 youth will take their first drink of alcohol. Compare that to the
academic year when each day approximately 8,000 teens take their first
- During the summer months first time use of drugs like marijuana, hallucinogens and inhalants are at an all time high.
- Teens who drink and smoke report doing it more in the months of June and July.
- (Taken from https://www.recovery.org/pro/articles/summer-teens-and-drugs/)
Given the above stats’ message and our Angels at Risk mission of prevention education, summertime is about protecting your kids and your families and all the while teaching them to have fun, live, be safe from drugs and alcohol, containing them, keeping them from running amuck, and simply preventing harm’s way all the while remembering, “we are motivated by love, kindness is the key.” Susie Spain HP, 2015
Here are some quick, classic, and universal tips that you might already know about, with some Angels at Risk flair:
- Communication (even when kids don’t want to talk back)
- Connection (time together even when kids seem miserable)
- Curfew (time management safety, containment)
- Drug Testing (friendly, protective, and positive means for kids to use for prevention)
- It’s smart to secure the alcohol and drugs in your home also your own use as parents
- Family Factor (viewing this as a family issue, when parents help kids they always help themselves)
- Family Counseling (make sure all communication is an option staying in the heart)
- Be Teachable (listen, read, and most of all, reach out)
- Not Becoming Arrogant, staying humble (knowing anything can happen to anyone)
This year the hot topic, the big highlight, and the major focus of outreach calls for us, and to us, has been all around containment. We love containment. It’s a constant teacher, it’s a self-teacher, a child-teacher, and a classic Angels at Risk code of ethics that in a happy way brings many gifts. It is profound.
I love Laura Numeroff’s series of kids’ books, they are masterpieces, they are prisms, and they are multi-layered messages about life. They talk all about adventure, joy, endless possibilities, taking risks, trusting life, happiness, and having someone along the way with you at every turn.
If she were writing the book for older kids, the genius could be to have a conversation between the child and the visitor—aka parent and child—at each and every twist and turn, in each and every specific facet of the adventure to learn about life’s valuable experiences, the positive, the negative, and all of the grey in between.
And maybe reflecting Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and all the ones after that, in the light of being written for older kids it would best encapsulated by the great philosopher Lao Tzu’s quote that said, “if you give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
Otherwise, “the consequences of giving a cookie to this energetic mouse run the young host ragged…” and further citing the last page of every book, they might just ask you for another cookie and start all over again.
Containment is big. It’s learning, it’s teaching, it’s evolving, and maybe I would call it it’s following the yellow brick road.
In closing, no matter where you come from, rich, poor and everything in between, the summertime basics are always true, they are about love, order, containment, and ultimately, teaching your kids, you, and both of you together.
This blog is dedicated to every parent who calls me either with an out of control teenager or even if they’re just wondering why their young adult has not launched into society. It’s never too late.
by Susie Spain, Founder