September 18, 2009 —

The fall sports season is starting up and many families are filling their calendars with carpools, team pictures, and opening day ceremonies. My family loves going to sporting events because it gets us out of the house together and gives us a chance to support our teams and schools. It is a great time for everyone! We all know, however, what usually happens after the first few minutes of a game. Our teens get restless and we are left with other parents in the stands while the kids head off to look for friends, visit the snack bar, and socialize. There is nothing wrong with teens wanting some time with their friends, but a long game without any supervision sometimes can lead to poor decision-making.

On the way to the next high school game, take a few minutes to talk with your kids about their plans for the evening. Remind them that the same rules that apply in the house apply at the game, and elsewhere. Make sure to ask questions. Will they be sitting with you during the game? If they are going to hang out with their friends, where will they be? Will you be able to see them? Arrange for a meeting time during and after the game to discourage them from any risky behavior, behavior that may include OTC cough medicine abuse or illicit drug use. Chances are that by simply letting your teens know that you want to be aware of where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with, you will keep them out of trouble. Brushing up on your warning signs of OTC cough medicine abuse won’t hurt either.

By letting our teens know we care and by staying actively involved, we can help protect them from making destructive choices, such as abusing cough medicine in the home or at the local stadium.

What rules do you have for your teens when attending a sporting event? Offer your advice on our Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/stopmedicineabuse.