School is back in session which means that your teenage son or daughter is also entering party season. There will be adolescent gatherings in bonus rooms and basements, living rooms and billiard rooms throughout Fairfield County.
Here are five rules for keeping your teen safe, on-track and preventing them from being an overnight online media sensation.
#1) Establish a curfew and stick with it. Never mind getting to midnight and the aphorism about nothing good happening thereafter. For the sake of safety and avoiding unwanted introductions to law enforcement, the reality is that nothing good happens after 10:30. Be guided accordingly.
#2) Even if your teen is beyond the period of Connecticut’s mandatory driving restrictions for passengers, make a rule about both who and how many friends ride in a car driven by your teen. I’ll make it easy for you. The limit is one passenger. This will make it much simpler for them to decline to give rides to people not on their list, or over the numerical limit for your household. And make sure that the penalty for violating the rule involves taking the keys away to the family car – for a long enough time to make them remember, and frankly, to make it a real nuisance for you.
#3) There shall be no contraband of any kind whatsoever in a vehicle driven by your teen or in which your teen is a passenger. This requires some role playing. Teach your son or daughter how to tell someone that if they’re carrying anything at all that might be illegal, they can’t ride in their car. The corollary is helping them role play not getting into a car where there’s beer, weed, drugs, paraphernalia or any other illegal material.
#4) Always be available for a pick-up when your teen calls from a social gathering of any sort. This accessibility is a completely judgment-free call; no matter what the time or the circumstances. If your kid thinks that they’re going be inundated with yelling and questioning when they’re picked up, they won’t call you.
#5) Know EXACTLY where and with whom your son or daughter will be when they go out. And confirm if they’re going to a private home that parents will not only be home, but actively supervising.
It the five rules sound tough, I’m not apologizing. They’re borne out of 27 years of experience defending young people throughout Connecticut. And these five rules are nothing compared to how tough it is to remove articles and social media references after an arrest, or explaining to colleges after the fact.
If you or your under-the-age of 21 son or daughter would benefit from in-person instruction and legal coaching, we’re happy to help prevent problems before they happen. Call us at the Maddox Law Firm.