Spring Break-Unsupervised Teens | Mom Blog: written by a teacher-mom, but not just for moms- a blog for everyone

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Break-Unsupervised Teens

According to a recent article I read, the below statement was sent home with students from 22 high schools in Cincinnati:

"Over the past several years, it ... has come to our attention that increasing numbers of students are taking unsupervised trips with their peers during spring breaks, during the summer months and/or after graduation,"

I am simply dumbfounded that parents in today's times would send their high school CHILD unsupervised to a spring break destination. What are parents thinking when they send a group of teenagers off, sometimes 6-10 hours away from home for a week at a time with no parental guidance?

It is just beyond me, and I am not sure that any participating parent could convince we otherwise. I know, parents think "but my child is a good kid"....UMmmm, well my child is a good kid too, but I am not naive about the dangers associated with a teen being left unsupervised with lots of peer pressure from other kids that are not  making good choices.

Thomas Cox, a mediator in Cincinnati, who works with families in drug and alcohol related cases said, "It amazes me the number of parents that delude themselves into thinking that when their kids go to the spring break hot spots that they will be the responsible kids and not engage in drinking and other high-risk activities."

He then pointed out that the decision-making portion of most human brains don't completely develop until about age 25. That's right!!!  So, we as the parents take on the role as decision maker for the children, and we stand up and say NO when our child asks to go unsupervised on a trip with an entire group of teens that do not have the mental brain development to make good judgement calls. It doesn't matter if your kid is a 'good kid' or not, it is a developmental issue, and even the best of the best can make a poor judgement call simply due to the fact that their brain is not fully developed.  It's a simple fact!

While reading about unsupervised teens in Florida, I came across many examples of teen deaths.  One unfortunate incident happened just a couple of years ago to teenager named Andrew Guglielmi.  He fell from a hotel balcony while on a spring break vacation in Panama City, Fla.. He had a significant blood-alcohol level.

Here is where I think parents can learn something based on the brain development (or lack of) that I just spoke about above.

Frank Guglielmi, the father of Andrew, said he counseled Andrew and his friends about potential spring break dangers. He even traveled with his son and their friends to Panama City the two years before his son's death.  The dad stated, "We went through the whole gamut of the kinds of situations that they might find themselves in and how to handle themselves," he said. "So I thought he had a little bit of a sense what could happen down there."

If the brain isn't developed, it really doesn't matter how much prepping you do.  Sad, but true!

Interested in knowing which spring break destinations are rated the most dangerous by the travel industry for the 2011 spring break?
Top 25 most dangerous spring break destinations

1. Orlando, FL

2. Daytona Beach, FL

3. Las Vegas, NV

4. Myrtle Beach, SC

5. West Palm Beach, FL

6. South Padre Island, TX

7. New Orleans, LA

8. Panama City, FL

9. Jacksonville, FL

10. Miami, FL

11. Fort Myers, FL

12. Galveston, TX

13. Fort Lauderdale, FL

14. Lake Havasu City, AZ

15. Key West, FL

16. Kihei/Maui, HI

17. Lafayette, LA

18. Naples, FL

19. Virginia Beach, VA

20. Park City, UT

21. Steamboat Springs, CO

22. San Diego, CA

23. Reno, NV

24. Santa Barbara, CA

25. Honolulu, HI

... Wondering how many parents sent their KIDS to Florida this spring break.


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