2011-03-24 / Letters to the Editor

Talk to your kids about safety

For the parents of Jamestown and North Kingstown students, it is that time of year again: The time of year where dances and proms become an adolescent’s priority. Where looking pretty and handsome, who you are taking to the dance and what you are doing before and after become the focus of their lives.

The latter is of most concern to me as the student assistance counselor at North Kingstown High School.

I hear far too often from students about how they were able to get alcohol and/or prescription pills from their own house. They tell me their parents don’t notice and I believe them.

I believe that if their parents did notice, they would do everything they could to stop it.

The number one deterrent of adolescent substance abuse is parental involvement. Your kids are listening to you, even when you think they aren’t. Your kids are thankful for every limit and boundary you set, even when they tell you they aren’t.

I know, because they tell me.

Please talk to your kids about the law, about their brain development and how harmful it is to use drugs and alcohol, even when it seems so fun to them in the beginning.

The younger you are when you start drinking, the greater your chance of becoming addicted to alcohol at some point in your life. More than four in 10 people who begin drinking before the age of 15 eventually become alcoholics.

Please continue to talk to your kids about making safe, wise and smart decisions. It is working.

Please keep talking to your kids about the dangers of getting into a vehicle with any driver that is under the influence. They are listening.

Please talk to your kids about respecting themselves and their family. They do want to be respected. Don’t be afraid of the subject.

Please continue to stay involved. We know that your involvement works because most kids at our high school aren’t using drugs or alcohol.

We want your kids back and safe after each and every school sponsored dance and event.

Jessica Wolke
Student Assistance Counselor

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