Whether your teen is anxiously awaiting their departure to a tropical paradise or snow covered peaks, you may be equally anxious about their health and safety on their trip. Find the time for a bon voyage conversation that shares your love and concern, along with practical advice. To help you make the best use of the limited time your child is likely to share with you, I’ve prepared things a sex-wise parent might have on their agenda:
I want you to have a wonderful time. Surround yourself with people who you admire and trust, and keep a careful distance from others.
I want you to be safe, so use these tips business travelers follow: Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated! When you get to your hotel, don’t let strangers see your room number when you check in. No matter how great the reputation of your hotel or resort, move around the facility with a friend and keep your valuables with you at all time. Trust your instincts about people getting too close to you physically. NEVER leave a drink unattended.
I want you to stay healthy. Carefully pack required prescriptions and keep them with you on the plane. Find an option with protein at every meal. Use sun screen. Stretch carefully before physical exertion like a run or day on the slopes. Stay away from unlicensed attractions, like parasailing companies not associated with your hotel.
I want you to remember that drugs and alcohol make you stupid. Being in a different city country where access to drugs or alcohol is unrestricted may make you feel more mature. You’re not. Make concrete rules now, before you go, while you’re sober and stick to them. Have a 12 ounce glass of water or club soda between every alcoholic drink. Don’t smoke anything if you don’t know the source. Ingest no pills or powders; you just don’t know the composition. Rotate among your friends the role of designated sober person to keep watch over each other.
I want you to remember that sexual arousal just happens, and it comes a part of the brain that is very far away from the part where executive decision making happens. Do not let your genitalia make a decision about sharing body parts with a stranger. The list of risks run from being robbed to getting a STI. Make a pact with your friends not to let anyone leave the group, and be prepared to make a scene if someone tries.
I want you to call me immediately if something goes wrong. I will help first and ask questions later because I love you.
I want you to treat yourself with the same care and respect you would show if you were taking care of your younger sibling or best friend.
I want you to have a wonderful time, and if you stay safe and healthy, I know you will.
Dr. Janet Rosenzweig is the Vice President, Research and Programs for Prevent Child Abuse America and the author of The Sex-Wise Parent and The Parent’s Guide to Talking About Sex: A Complete Guide to Raising (Sexually) Safe, Smart, and Healthy Children. For more information, read her blog , follow @JanetRosenzweig on Twitter or contact DrRosenzweig@sexwiseparent.com to schedule a program for your school or community group.
This post origionally appeared in the Healthy Kids blog for Philly.com bit.ly/1Szt1PI