Parents – Talk With Your Kids About Beach Week

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)With Senior Week approaching for high school students, Talbot Partnership is looking to educate parents of high school juniors and seniors concerned about the dangers of underage drinking and the safety of their teenage children during Beach Week.

For many years, Beach Week has been the traditional celebratory trip for graduating seniors in the area. Students rent houses; stay in hotels or at family vacation homes in nearby Delaware and Maryland beach towns. Every June, thousands of recent high school graduates from Talbot County as well as Baltimore and Washington suburbs flock to the shore for a week of sand, sun, and new freedom.

But celebratory fun is not all that awaits the teens during the much anticipated Beach Week. Alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, robberies, and criminal records are among the pitfalls. According to Gary Pearce, Executive Director of Talbot Partnership, parents may think, “What’s the big deal? We’re sending them to college soon anyway,” But a beach town is nothing like a school campus where there are resident assistants, campus security, and class schedules to keep teens in check.

The beach is an “uncontrolled environment” with a large concentration of kids. Each year, hundreds of students make bad choices or are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Given the risks, if you are a parent with a child planning to attend Beach Week, it is imperative that you sit down and have an honest talk about it. Follow these tips to ensure that the trip can be both safe AND fun for your teen.

Let Your Child Known You Trust Them – Refrain from lecturing your teen. Instead, try to begin by asking what risks they expect to encounter on the trip and finding out how they plan to manage those situations.

Be clear on your expectations – Parents, you have a strong influence on your children’s behavior. Young people who believe their parents disapprove of substance use are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

Demand to Know the Details – Often, graduating seniors rent large houses with even larger groups of kids. Make it a priority to know with whom your child will be travelling and with whom he/she will be staying. Make sure they will be spending their time with young men and women you trust, and don’t be afraid to voice your concerns about any particular individuals about whom you have concerns.

Set Check-In Times – Teens are notorious for not checking in with parents. Let your child know that doing so on this trip is unacceptable. Instead, work with them to come up with a check-in schedule that works best for both of you.

Offer to Pick Them Up, No Questions Asked – It happens way too often – something goes wrong, and teens don’t know what to do. The only thing they WON’T do is call their parents to ask for help, fearing that they will get in trouble. Invariably, the situation only gets worse. Let your child know that if they ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable that they can call you, and you will be there to pick them up.

Suggest a Parent Driver – Volunteer to drive your son or daughter to the beach along with their friends. Let them know that you have no intention of ruining their trip – instead, you just want to be their personal chauffer for the trip down and back.

For additional information on what parents can do to help their children avoid the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at or find us on Facebook.