Every year, teens across the country celebrate Halloween in one of two ways: innocent and fun or reckless and dangerous. Once they outgrow the desire to dress up like their favorite cartoon characters and go trick-or-treating, they often develop a spirit of adventure—one that can lead them into trouble if they’re not careful. That’s why, when it comes to making sure their teens stay safe on October 31, it’s important for parents to talk to their teens about all the evening will entail.
The first and most important thing to do is to get the details. Know where your teen 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 on a plan, help your teen prepare for the evening by sharing tips that will keep them safe and facilitate a positive experience.
- Pack a flashlight and cell phone. Because Halloween is unpredictable, 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 points in the evening by sending you text messages regarding their location.
- Stay in a group. Don’t let your teen take on this night alone. Encourage them to stay in groups of trusted friends and avoid venturing from the pack. Find out who will be with them and what they will be doing, and make sure they follow the classic buddy system.
- Stick to the plan. Many times, your teen’s friends will try to change your teen’s mind 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 for a ride. While it may be tempting to let them continue on in the new situation, Halloween is not the best time to experiment with unapproved social settings. Make sure your teen understands your point before they head out the door and that sticking to the original plan is best for their safety.
- Exchange contact information. 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. Should anything happen, you’ll want to know any way to reach them and the members of their party.
- Obey traffic laws. At Meyer’s and Waterloo Service, one of our main priorities is road safety, and on Halloween we know it can be extra challenging 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 road. 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. And, of course, never under any circumstances should they drink and drive.
Like we said, Halloween can be a fun evening for both parents and teens, but it takes a little effort to make that happen. Talk to your teenager about the night and make sure you know the details of their night and are comfortable with the situation. Overall, 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 want to go the extra mile and make sure your teen has a safe set of wheels for the evening, call us at Meyer’s or Waterloo Service to schedule an appointment. That way, you’ll at least have the 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.
To schedule your next maintenance appointment, call Meyer’s or Waterloo Service today!