Although your teen may exude maturity and take on numerous responsibilities at home and school, vacation may taint his or her judgment. Potentially surrounded by alcohol, late nights and clubs, your teen may find it difficult to say “no” to peer pressure.
Tips for Your Traveling Teen
No parent wants to be known as a stickler, but when it comes to your teen’s safety, no rule is too strict. Ensure you implement the following rules for your teen while he or she is vacationing with friends:
• Never wander off alone. Your teen may be tempted to veer off the beaten path, but a split-second decision to walk away from the group could prove detrimental. Talk to your teen about the importance of staying in a group, and be honest about potential dangers.
• Keep in regular contact. Ask your teen to reinforce the trust you have placed in him or her by setting up a daily check-in system. Having your teen commit to calling you at specific times can provide you with the comfort you need while miles apart.
• Abide by the state’s or country’s laws. Make sure your teen understands the laws of the land and the consequences of breaking them. If your teen is traveling to a country that legally permits drinking at his or her age, review responsible practices together. While you never want to promote potentially harmful activities, it’s also important to remain realistic.
If your teen is not quite ready to vacation alone with his or her friends, have a chaperone tag along. Having a responsible adult accompany your teen and his or her friends while on vacation may provide just the amount of guidance they need.
Before your teen travels out of the country, ensure he or she is up to date on the necessary immunizations. To find a primary care provider, click here.
This article was reviewed by Lanette Brown-Jones, MD, adolescent medicine, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.