Girls Gone Wild? Seven Tips to Handle Spring Break

It seems like Spring Break is the perfect getaway for college students, being able to relieve all stress accumulated over the past semester. A common saying “What Happens in Spring Break, Stays in Spring Break” gives a different idea though. There is a good reason for it. Most spring break activities consist of high risk behaviors such as excessive drinking, unprotected sex, and hooking up which in most cases is combined with alcohol and drug use.Compared to “normal” student behavior on college campuses, the increase of alcohol consumption and sexual activity over Spring Break is immense. According to a study published in the Journal of American College Health the average number of drinks consumed per day on spring break for men is 18 and for women is 10.The American Medical Association with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2006 conducted a poll of more than 600 women ages 17 to 35 as part of a program aimed at reducing high-risk drinking on college campuses. A few key findings include:An overwhelming majority (83 percent) of women had friends who drank the majority of the nights while on spring break.More than half (59 percent) know friends who were sexually active with more than one partner.Nearly three out of five women know friends who had unprotected sex during spring break.Each year in Cancun, Mexico, a major spring break destination for American college students, the city and hospitals report an increase in deaths,

rapes

, injuries, assaults and arrests related to drinking. In Daytona last year county officials reported twice as many rape cases during the month of spring break.We all know that alcohol distorts our lack of judgment and lowers our inhibitions. Spring breakers end up doing things they may regret later. Most spring break activities begin with a wet t-shirt or boxer contest. Throughout the week, strip contests along with sexual encounters can be seen openly on the beaches among other “activities”.

HOW YOU CAN PREPARE YOUR TEEN/ YOUNG ADULT FOR SPRING BREAK

Unfortunately it is not only college students participating in such activities, about 15% of spring breakers are actually high school students. What can you do to prevent teenagers and young adults to engage in such behavior? It is indeed a tricky situation because that is what sadly most young adults do over Spring Break but there are alternatives. Here are a few tips for parents on how to prepare their teen for the spring break experience.

1. SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS.

 Statistics show that parents still have a great influence on their teenager’s/ young adult’s life.

 2. TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE RISKS INVOLVED.

Talk to your children about alcohol intoxication, date rape, sex, drug use, etc. However, the best precautions are the ones that they decide on and take themselves.

3. SHARE EMERGENCY NUMBERS.

 Help your children create a list of emergency numbers. Make sure to let them know to keep this list with them at all times. Also, make sure as the parent to have the number of their friends traveling with your child and the contact information of the hotel or house they will be staying at.

 4. COMMIT THEM TO THE “BUDDY SYSTEM”. 

Make sure your teen or young adult know they should travel in groups – three or more is best.

5. HELP THEM AVOID THEFT.

 Where there are big crowds of people it is easier for theft to happen. Let your children know to neither carry too much money with them nor wear expensive jewelry.

6. COORDINATE WITH OTHER PARENTS.

 Get in touch with the parents of your child’s friends. It is always good for everyone to be on the same page. If all parents are in agreement, the likelihood that the children will stick to the rules set by the parents is much greater.

 7. ENCOURAGE AN ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK.

 Get your children familiar with alternative options for spring break. Many college campuses offer opportunities for students who want to do something else than intoxicate themselves 24/7 for a whole week. Speak with one of the advisors from your child’s college or browse their website for information. Even if their college does not offer such a program, there is always an alternative. There are plenty of organizations across the states that offer opportunities for an alternative Spring Break.If you are interested in booking a seminar on this or other topics please call 407-442-2664. 

NOTE:

You can freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the author's contact information below intact.

About the Author:

Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, MS offers expert advice to Local and National TV News, Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie on

Facebook

or

Twitter

.