Idaho spring break: Keep your t(w)een safe
Spring break is almost here and, for many Idaho pre-teens and teens, that means figuring out how to spend long, unsupervised days. Add in the stereotypical spring break images prevalent on social media, and it’s no wonder some kids “celebrate” the week by using alcohol and drugs.
Many Idaho parents feel that underage drinking is a rite of passage, but recent science proves drinking negatively impacts a teen’s brain for life, impairing memory and cognitive abilities. Other risks are just as serious: sexual assault, unplanned sex, fighting, and hurting themselves or others while driving under the influence.
Still sound like a fun way to spend spring break?
Instead, help prevent your child from drinking and using other drugs during this week:
- Tell your child you expect them not to drink and set realistic consequences if they break the rules. Believe it or not, taking to your child about the risks of alcohol is one of the most effective prevention strategies.
- Practice ways your child can say no to peer pressure if they find themselves in a situation where alcohol or drugs are present.
- Keep them busy! If they’re involved in meaningful activities during the week, they’re less likely to find the time to participate in the party scene.
- Create alternative, alcohol-free fun for your child and their friends. Plan a movie night, organize a kickball game with prizes, or host a get-together with a luau theme, music, and board and video games.
- Check in with your child regularly throughout the week. Know where they are and who they’re with. Confirm plans with their friends’ parents, if possible.
Will you commit to keeping yours safe? Here are some ideas to help you.
Create their own volunteer project. Have your child get friends together to plan and deliver “blessings bags” for homeless people in your town, write letters to soldiers, or make treats for dogs at your local homeless shelter.
Learn something new. Have a guitar laying around? A piano no one really bothers with anymore? Challenge your teen to refresh or learn a new skill over break, and reward them with a treat. Thanks to YouTube, there are endless chances to discover a new talent: dance moves (the pop and lock), piano songs (Alt J’s Breezeblocks), chess, and more.
Sign them up for day camps
From battle bots to cooking to sports to art, there are many options to keep your child engaged in meaningful activities during spring break. Check your city, county, YMCA, or Boys and Girls clubs for their offerings.
Nampa Parks and Rec: Tennis, drawing, horsemanship, and more
Treasure Valley YMCA: Robotics, cooking, cake decorating, swimming
Boise Zoo: Zoo Careers Camp (ages 12-15)
Treasure Valley Children’s Theater (up to age 12)
North Central Idaho
YMCA of the Palouse: STEAM-inspired camp. Financial assistance available.
Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center: swimming, climbing, and more
CYT: Broadway theater camp
Idaho Falls Parks & Rec: Endangered species art camp (up to age 13)
South Central Idaho
Twin Falls YMCA day camp (up to age 12): swimming, art, and games.
Happy spring!Tags: alcohol-free, Idaho teen, spring break, spring break alcohol, underage drinking Idaho