Keeping Your Teen Safe At Halloween
Halloween is one of the most nerve-wracking holidays, particularly for parents of older kids. Between parties and the large crowds of people out at night, it can be a stressful time for parents as they try to let their teen have some more freedom while still trying to instill good morals and safe behavior.
If you are worried about how to talk to your teen about Halloween, see below for some great ideas on how to keep them safe this October, and still let them have some fun.
Invest in some reflective tape. More than likely your teen will want to choose their own costume, or even forgo wearing one at all. Compromise by putting some reflective tape in discreet spots on whatever they choose to wear on Halloween night. This way car headlights or flashlights will be able to see them, even if they choose to dress in dark clothing.
Give them boundaries. If you are ok with your teen going out on Halloween night, give them some mutually agreeable limits. Install an app on everyone’s phone that can track their location, and give them a curfew and some check-in times throughout the night so you can know they are ok. This way they can be the ones responsible for letting you know where they are, and you can relax without having to call them constantly.
Talk to them about consequences. Make it clear what exactly will happen if they break your rules, or if they break the law. There is no need to make threats, but be honest about your expectations and the repercussions.
Talk to them about basic safety. I know it seems like common sense, but some teenagers have a feeling of being indestructible and can be naive about what can actually happen in the real world. Be sure they know about being defensive when driving, and wary of other drivers who may be drinking and on the road. Also, if you believe there might be drinking at whatever party they are attending, talk to them about a designated driver, and also about watching their drinks at all times.
Set limits about where they can go, and where they can’t. Besides keeping boundaries on time, talk to them about where they are allowed to go, and where is off limits. If you know that one of their school friends is throwing a party, call and make sure it has a chaperone. If you don’t feel comfortable sending them, give them alternative locations that they are allowed to go, or tell them they can’t go out at all.
These may seem extreme, and you will likely get some resistance, but keeping your child safe should be the number one priority when dealing with a holiday like Halloween. It’s important to give them some freedom, but still, let them know they are not adult enough to be completely unsupervised. If you have a troubled teen who you suspect is abusing substances such as alcohol or drugs, now may be the time to intervene with a professional setting such as a residential teen program or a teen military program.