through counseling, housing and education.
Communication and Planning Are Key to Summertime Safety for Teens
NewBridge Services offers tips to parents
PEQUANNOCK, NJ - June 6, 2012 - With summer break just weeks away, teens are ready to trade in their packed schedules for graduation parties, hanging out with friends and Shore getaways. For parents, the season of freedom requires extra efforts to ensure their children stay safe while they're having fun.
"The most important thing parents can do is talk with their kids,'' said L. Michelle Borden, chief operating officer of NewBridge Services, a nonprofit community provider of behavioral health and education programs. "Teens need to know what's expected of them, especially during times when they have more independence.''
To help keep children safe, NewBridge offers these tips to parents:
- Articulate rules - including curfews - and the consequences of violating them.
- Get a rundown on your teen's plans: who is driving? Where are they going? Tell him he must call if plans change.
- Instruct your teen not to drive with anyone who has been drinking alcohol, and let her know she can call you for a ride at any time.
- Don't be swayed into letting your teen partake in risky activities just because "everyone else's parents said yes."
- Discuss the dangers of alcohol and club drugs.
- Invite your child's friends to your home so you can get to know them.
- Communicate with other parents.
- Praise your teen when he or she uses good judgment in the face of peer pressure.
"Communication, guidance and advance planning help to steer teens in the right direction and keep them safe," Borden said.
NewBridge encourages schools to take advantage of its free Fatal Vision® goggles program, which allows students to safely experience the kind of effects alcohol has on the body. Funding is provided through a federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. For more information or to receive a copy of NewBridge's prevention program brochure for schools and youth organizations, call Mary Vineis at (973) 839-2521, ext. 2228.
About NewBridge Services
Founded in 1963, NewBridge Services, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) community organization providing innovative programs and education services in five focus areas: mental health, addiction, housing, youth programs and senior services. Whether guiding people as they cope with stress, grief, or substance abuse, or providing advice to those with parenting, relationship or caregiving challenges, NewBridge helps people bring balance to their lives.