Your teenager will get expectations of what Leavers will be like from school mates, and other friends. As a parent you can discuss and explain how drinking alcohol can impact on their Leavers experience.
It is important to provide young people with factual information about alcohol. Talking to your child about alcohol does not mean you are condoning drinking alcohol.
Ask your child what they expect will happen at Leavers and how they feel about going to Leavers. It may be the first time they have been away from home without adult supervision and it may have them feeling anxious even though they are excited to go.2 Explain that you want them to have fun and enjoy themselves, but you would like to make sure that they are going to be safe.
By discussing the potential risks your child may face during Leavers through consuming alcohol, you can help them prepare strategies to stay safe.
Some ideas for discussion with your child include the following:
How to look after themselves and their friends
Alcohol use by young people can increase the risk of:
The short-term effects of alcohol on the body and what happens if a person drinks too much alcohol. For example: vomiting, loss of coordination, blacking out etc.
Discuss how other people’s drinking may affect them and help them to develop responses to these situations should they arise. Some examples could be how to defuse aggression and how to avoid getting into a car with someone who is intoxicated. 3
According to the Liquor Control Act 1988:
1 National Drug Research Institute. School leavers' celebration: Parents can make a difference,. National Drug Research Institute Factsheet - Information for Parents [Internet]. 2013 02/09/2013 [cited 2013 02/09/2013]. Available from: http://ndri.curtin.edu.au/local/docs/pdf/leavers/parentsfactsheet.pdf.
2 Munro G. Schoolies: advice for parents. GrogWatch [Internet]. 2012 02/09/2013 [cited 2013 02/09/2013]; (85). Available from: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b091f64ebed780d91b194fb1b&id=2990437a9d&e=fb874e0778.
3 Allsop S. How to set teens up for a healthy relationship with alcohol2012 26/08/2013. Available from: http://theconversation.com/how-to-set-teens-up-for-a-healthy-relationship-with-alcohol-7370.
4 National Drug Research Institute. School leavers' celebrations: Tips for celebrating students 2013 [cited 2013 02102013]. Available from: http://www.communities.wa.gov.au/Documents/Youth/Leavers students factsheet.pdf.
5 Prevention OoC. Leavers WA: Official Website [Webpage]. Online. Available from: http://leaverswa.com.au/parents/
Call the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 toll free for country callers.
For emergencies call the 000 emergency line.