Parents: “Be the Influence” on Teen Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Drug Use
Together with the Twin Cities Coalition for Healthy Youth, the Redwood PTSA seeks to improve the health, safety and well-being of our community by reducing teen alcohol, marijuana and other drug use, including:
- Easy access by teens to alcohol, marijuana and other drugs;
- Parties and gatherings at homes (as well as rented venues such as community centers, hotel rooms, clubs and party buses) involving teen use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs; and
- Prescription drug use.
What can parents do? You have more influence than you think! Join Redwood's "Be the Influence" (BTI) Campaign:
- Make the BTI Pledge! Then mail or deliver the form to the Redwood HS PTSA (BTI) or email the information to email@example.com.
- Use the List of Parent Pledge Participants which parents can easily access with a generic password. The List contains contact information of other Redwood BTI parent participants, including email addresses and cell phone numbers. It is on a password protected page of Redwood's website, accessible only to other Redwood BTI parent participants.
- Verify your child's whereabouts and level of adult supervision. Make those "cold calls" (or use email or text-messaging) to your child's friend's parents. This is not only useful when your student attends hosted weekend parties and sleepovers, but also during the weekday afternoon hours. Get to know your child's friends and their friend's parents!
What else can parents do?
- Consider the Sample Family Agreement to set clear expectations and consequences. This is for Home use only. Discuss it with your teen, revise it to reflect your family values, and consider posting it in your home. It also contains "My Redwood Student's Phone Tree" for collecting contact information for your child's friends, as well as their parents who are not in Be the Influence Parent Participant Listing.
- Get the latest statistics on alcohol and marijuana use at Redwood HS, in Marin and the Bay Area. The most recent California Healthy Kids Survey results for 2011 are posted at http://chks.wested.org/
- "Just Say Know": Become familiar with local laws and ordinances, such as curfews (11 pm in most Marin towns), Social Host Ordinances and provisional license restrictions. Also get the facts on the effects on alcohol and other drugs on teens and the different effects on boys and girls. Attend our Parent Ed events and check out the recommended books and websites on the Redwood PTSA Resources Page (to be added soon).
And remember, just because parents think that their teens may experiment with or use alcohol or other drugs ... doesn't mean that enabling them to do so or "looking the other way" will keep them safe. Being the Influence includes keeping the connection open with your teen (while "trusting them ... to be a teenager!"), watching your own p's and q's (pints and quarts) ... and reaching out to the village.