Graduation is a few weeks away and that means there will be tons of parties and cause for
celebration. Sometimes, grad night acts as a bridge to experimental drinking and drug use, or it can be uses as justification for intoxication. Graduation is a milestone and often symbolizes growing up and moving into adulthood. At times, adulthood is perceived as freedom from childhood where there are no parents breathing down their necks, no teachers calling home when they don’t pull their weight in class, and no one to report to. How many time have we heard,”Gah. I can’t wait to be an adult.” If they only knew, right!?
Graduation time is a great opportunity to brainstorm with your teen about the various positive options available to them if they find themselves in a compromising situation. Likewise, graduation time calls for active parenting where transparency coupled with healthy boundaries and compassion are key.
Check out the following grad-night sobriety tips. If you’re in any kind of recovery, these will be helpful:
- Have a sober posse with you – a group of friends that you can rely on and who are on the same or similar path as you.
- Create an exit plan: know what you will do if something goes awry or if you find yourself in a tough situation.
- Call your sponsor before and after an event.
- Movie night.
- Host a sober house party – there’s nothing like good music, laughter, and silliness.
- Create a scavenger hunt where people have to work in teams. You could do it in your local city with a start and end place.
- Use the buddy system – don’t go it alone.
- Ask your school to host fun, alcohol-free parties after graduation.
- Suggest that parents and teachers run a hotline on prom night. If students have trouble getting to or from the dance or are riding with someone who’s been drinking, they can call for a safe ride with no questions asked.
More than anything: congratulations. Congratulations on completing high school, or college. Congratulations on showing up for yourself and your education. Congratulations on being the leaders of your generation and champions of a better future. May you go on to do great things, safe, sober and alive with joy.