Every parent wants to keep their kids out of trouble. As big of a responsibility as this already is, it can become even more difficult as kids get older and start taking bigger risks that put themselves – and possibly their future – in jeopardy. Even when they are at home, kids can find a way to get into trouble.
As such, protecting your children can start with what they are exposed to at home. Below are a few things parents should especially careful with.
Prescription drugs can be hugely tempting for young people – especially teenagers. Whether they plan to take them or sell them to others, teens with access to a parent’s medication can get into serious trouble.
And having medication around the house is more common than people may think. According to this report, about half of Tennessee parents prescribed opioids in the last five years had and kept leftover medication. Opioids are particularly harmful, so parents should be sure to keep them secure or dispose of them properly to prevent theft and misuse.
Many kids don’t have to look any further than the refrigerator or liquor cabinet to find bottles of alcohol, as alcohol use among adults is common.
However, a minor who is in possession of alcohol or intoxicated can face criminal penalties. Parents should take every precaution when it comes to keeping kids away from alcohol. Such precautions include:
- Explaining that alcohol use is for adults only
- Using alcohol responsibly around kids
- Disposing of unused alcohol
- Keeping alcohol in a locked cabinet
- Checking a teen’s room regularly for alcohol bottles or other vessels used to conceal alcohol
Computers and phones
It’s unrealistic to keep kids away from computers and phones. However, parents can help their children learn to use things like the internet and social media safely. One way to do this is to talk about the harsh consequences, including criminal charges and imprisonment, of behavior like:
- Sending or sharing explicit images
- Hacking into others’ accounts
- Spreading viruses
To prevent your kids from engaging in these crimes (and to protect them from being a target), parents might consider parental controls, reviewing a child’s privacy settings, and restricting access to certain sites or apps.
Considering the amount of time young people may be spending at home these days, now can be an especially good time for parents to ensure it is a safe place.