Talking with your teenager

Starting the conversation

Transcript

It’s a good idea to talk with your teen about Schoolies early in the year before they book accommodation so they involve you in their plans from the start. You might also find it reassuring to get to know the friends, and their parents, your teen will be staying with at Schoolies.

It’s important to talk to your teen about travel and accommodation, keeping in touch while they’re away and about alcohol and drugs before they leave.

Being away from home and staying in touch

For a lot of teens, being away from home for Schoolies is the first time they have travelled without adult supervision. Set some ground rules and offer them some travel tips before they leave. Here are some tips that will come in handy for you and your teen during Schoolies.

  • Set a time for your teen to call you, or you to call them, each day they’re away at Schoolies. Early afternoon is usually the best time.
  • Get them to make sure their phone is charged, switched on and has plenty of credit – especially when it is your scheduled time to call.
  • Let them know they can contact you any time and make sure you always have your mobile phone on you.
  • Put together a list of key phone numbers including their hotel, close friends and their friends’ parents.
  • It’s a smart idea to eat well at Schoolies. You might give your kids some ideas for easy healthy meals before they go or even give them a home-cooked meal to take with them and share with their friends.
  • Make sure that your teen has a back-up plan when they go out. This may include a location to meet their friends if they get separated, and carrying enough money for a taxi so they can get back to their hotel easily.  
  • To ensure the back-up plan is always an option, make sure your teen knows the name and address of their accommodation in case they need a volunteer to walk them home or to catch a cab. Advise them to keep transport money separate from general spending money so they can always afford to pay for a trip back to their hotel.
  • Talk to them about alcohol and drugs and the risk factors so they make informed decisions at Schoolies.
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