Parents

Dear Parents,

Parenting a teen can be a challenging and difficult task as well as very rewarding. While most teens in Wheeling Township choose not to drink alcohol or use drugs, it is important to realize that there are steps parents should take to help prevent alcohol and drug abuse in their teen. Three out of four youth say parents are the number one influence in their life when in comes to making decisions about drinking and drug use. Your own actions along with communicating about substance use both send strong messages to your teen. Don’t assume your child already knows how you feel about drugs and alcohol. Talking to them regularly and making your position clear can make a significant difference when it comes to preventing substance abuse. Prevention also means being involved with your child’s day to day activities. If you suspect your child has a drug or alcohol problem do not hesitate to contact a professional right away.

PARENTS, PARTIES AND THE LAW

Social hosting occurs when adults over 21 provide alcohol to minors or allow underage drinking to occur on their property.  Below is an important message from Link Together and your Wheeling Township Police Departments – Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Wheeling.

A Parent’s Guide to Hosting a Party

Parties are an important part of young people’s lives for socialization, relaxation, and entertainment. Unfortunately, hosting or going to a party often includes other activities that could prove harmful to teens. Parents have the right to expect that social situations remain free from alcohol/drug use and other risk-taking behaviors. The purpose of the next section of this booklet is to help parents guide teens through times when pressure is great to engage in unhealthy behavior.

10 Rules For Hosting a Party:

1. An adult should be present and visible throughout the party.

2. Set the ground-rules with your teen before the party.

3. Encourage small parties–invitation only.

4. Anyone who leaves the party should not be allowed to return.

5. Notify the police when planning a large party.

6. Notify yours neighbors of the party.

7. Invite other parents to stop by.

8. Be alert for signs of alcohol or drug use.

9. Watch for inappropriate or prolonged activity outdoors, in restrooms, or elsewhere in your home.

10. Do not hesitate to call the police if the party gets out of hand.

Attending a Party–Parents should…

1. Contact the parents of the party host to verify the plans.

2. Know where the party is and how to get there. Let your teen know to call with any changes in plans. Use parents home phone (landline)

3. Check the ending time to be sure it fits with curfew restrictions.

4. Be aware when your teen comes home, or have your teen waken you when her/she arrives.

5. If your teen is staying overnight, plans should be made prior to the party and verified with the other parent.

Also verify that no drugs or alcohol will be permitted.

6. Allow your teen to always feel comfortable to call home for a ride or assistance.

When Parents Are Away…Many parties occur at the homes of students whose parents are out of town. Before you leave:

1. Let your neighbors know when you’ll be gone and when you’ll return.

2. Make arrangements for a friend, relative, or neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

3. Provide supervision for your teen.

4. Let police know when you will leave, who has access to your house, and when you will return.

5. Let the parents of your teen’s friends know you will be away. Discuss all details and guidelines with your teen before you leave.

PARENT SURVEY – THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING!

Thank you to those of you who participated in our Wheeling Township 2013 Parent Survey. We were able to collect over 1000 surveys online and at parent/teacher conferences from Buffalo Grove, Wheeling and Hersey High School.  The survey provided valuable feedback on parent perceptions of teen alcohol use and will be analyzed for use in future evidence -based prevention efforts in Wheeling Township.

CLICK HERE to view the complete results of the survey

Social Norms Marketing Campaigns For Your Teens In Wheeling Township

Social Norms Marketing campaigns are research- based prevention programs that positively impact people’s perceptions by emphasizing people’s actual behavior. In other words, when helping people understand what behaviors are really going on, their inaccurate perceptions are corrected and their own actions are influenced.

In our campaigns we are addressing teen substance use. We find that most students think a lot more of their peers are using alcohol and drugs than actually are. The goal is to show students that the majority of their peers choose not to use these substance and that most students make healthy choices. If students begin to see that their peers are making healthy choices, then they too will be more likely to make healthy choices.

Social Norms Campaigns have been launched at Buffalo Grove and Wheeling High School. Hersey High School and Prospect High School have plans to bring the campaign to their school this fall.