Halloween is one holiday that can be either incredibly innocent and fun or completely reckless and dangerous, especially for teenagers. Once kids have outgrown the trick-or-treating days of dressing up like their favorite cartoon characters, they often develop a spirit of adventure that leads them into trouble on the most famous night for pranks, stunts and general mayhem. Thus, when it comes to making sure their teens stay safe on October 31, it’s important to talk with them about the evening and what it will entail.
First, it’s important that parents know the details of their teen’s evening including where they will be and when, who will be with them and how they can be reached. Other details including the presence of alcohol and method of transportation are also key. Parents, it’s your right and responsibility to establish rules for and with your teen in order to ensure their safety, so don’t be afraid to put your foot down if you feel uncomfortable with any situation. Remember, they’ll thank you for it later.
Once you’ve agreed upon a plan, help your teen prepare for the evening by sharing tips that will help them stay safe and have a positive experience.
- Bring a flashlight and cell phone. You never know what can happen on Halloween, so it’s always good to be prepared. A well-meaning friend could pull a prank that leaves your teen in an uncomfortable situation, so it’s best to make sure these two devices are quickly accessible. Also, encourage your teen to check in at certain point in the evening by sending text messages regarding their location.
- Stay in a group. Don’t let your teen take on this night alone. Find out who will be with them and what they will be doing, and make sure they stick to the plan. Should their friends choose to change their plans, talk with your teen about what they will do and where they will go instead.
- Stick to the plan. Many times, your teen’s friends will try to change their minds and entice them to break rules by changing plans in the middle of the evening. If this happens, make sure your teen either has alternate transportation or someone to call. While it may be tempting to let them continue on in new circumstances, Halloween is not the best time to experiment with undiscussed and unapproved social settings. Make sure your teen understands that before they head out the door and that sticking to the original plan is best for their safety.
- Exchange phone numbers. After you’ve discussed who and what will be involved in the plan for the night, secure all of the phone numbers for your teen’s friends and their parents as well as the phone number for the party location if there is one. This is one night it’s okay to be nosey.
- Obey traffic laws. At D&R Autoworks, one of our main priorities is road safety. And on Halloween, we know it can be an extra challenge to obey all of the rules. However, if you and your teen want to experience a fun and safe night, it’s important to be mindful of dangerous situations on the streets. Should your teen be driving, make sure they watch carefully for hidden trick-or-treaters and drive slowly through neighborhoods. If they are on foot, encourage them to stick to sidewalks and avoid walking into streets where it can be difficult for motorists to see them.
Halloween can be a fun evening for both parents and teens, but it takes a little effort to make sure that happens. Talk to your teenager about the night and make sure that, overall, you know the details of their night and are comfortable with the situation. Let them know you love them and trust them to make wise decisions and that you’ll be there for them if they need you.
And if you need to make sure your teen has a safe set of wheels for the evening, call us at D&R Autoworks to schedule a service appointment. That way, you’ll at least have peace of mind knowing that their car is reliable and able to take them safely to and from wherever the Halloween night takes them. With your approval, of course.