5 tips to help parents speak to teens about celebrating Leaving results safely 8 months ago

5 tips to help parents speak to teens about celebrating Leaving results safely

Many children across the country received their Leaving Cert results today.

While this year has been extremely stressful for Sixth Year students who weren't sure if they would get any Leaving Cert at all this year, the wait is finally over.

Even with the pandemic this year's student have received some of the highest results on record and of course they want to celebrate.

If your child is planning to have a couple of celebratory drinks tonight here are some tips from Drinkaware that you should talk to them about beforehand.

1. Plan ahead:

Plan their day with them and talk about how they can mark and celebrate this milestone before the results.  Ask how they would like to do this and with whom, discussing safe ways they can keep within the public health guidelines on numbers and locations. Make sure that you are both fully informed of the plans.

2. Talk about alcohol:

Discuss whether alcohol will be involved and how alcohol, especially excessive drinking, might impact on their and their fellow students’ behaviour. Explain that alcohol is a depressant and using drink to celebrate or commiserate will often have the opposite effect than intended.

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3. Check in with other parents:

Talk to other parents to share your rules around celebrating the results this year. It’s likely that the parents of your child’s friends are having the same anxieties as you about how to safely manage gatherings and providing support at this stressful time. This will help you to assess the potential impact of external influences.

4. Come up with alternatives:

Discuss other options to mark the occasion. Celebrating with family for example may not be the same as with friends, but research shows that many households with teens and young people, enjoyed the resurgence of ‘family’ time during COVID-19.

5. Mind your own mental health:

This is a stressful time for you too. Stay calm and manage your own anxieties first. Being a positive role model and setting an example around alcohol is very important. When you use coping strategies that don’t involve alcohol, it shows your young person how to deal with problems in a healthy way.

Drinkaware’s parent website has detailed information, advice and tools to support parents to talk to their young people about alcohol: drinkaware.ie/parents