As we get ready for school ending and the summer months are upon us, we think it is important for our community to think about our kids, the free time they will have this summer, and the risky situations that they might find themselves in. Some questions to ask ourselves:
- Do our kids have healthy activities to occupy their time: will they have jobs, be at camp, taking classes or enrolled in any programs?
- What parameters have we placed on daily activities, both during the day and at night? Have we set curfews? Do our kids have their own cars or access to Uber or Lyft?
- Do we have clear rules about cell phone use and can we reach our kids if we need them? Are there rules about responding to calls and messages from us?
- Do we know their friends and who they will be hanging out with?
- Are our kids hanging out in our fields and woods (e.g., Ginn, Manchester, Leonard, the Fells)?
- Do we know the parents of these friends and if the parents are at home when our kids are over? Do their friends’ parents share the same parenting philosophy regarding underage drinking and smoking/vaping?
- Do we fully understand what vaping is? Do we know the risks associated with vaping?
- What’s in the backpacks? Do they need a backpack during the summer?
- What’s in our liquor cabinets and “beer fridges” and should we monitor quantities so that we know if something is missing?
- What’s in our medicine cabinets? Do we have our prescription medication safeguarded?
Summer is a great time for our kids to relax and enjoy a break from the stress of the school year. Let’s help them have a happy and healthy summer!