First of all CONGRATULATIONS to all the graduates of 2015!!! This is a huge accomplishment for all those that have worked through the struggle and sleepless nights cramming for tests and finals. Whether you are graduating from pre-k, elementary, middle school, high school, GED or college you deserve the recognition. These are great milestones in our lives that we should be proud of and look forward to the next steps in our future.
Time to celebrate those achievements, many are doing this with graduation parties and gatherings with friends and family. Unfortunately it has become more of a social norm to allow our high school graduates to consume alcoholic beverages at their parties, sort of a right of passage for them. We spend so much of our time telling our youth and children to be responsible and to not engage in underage drinking. Than we undermine what we have said all those years and allow them to partake in the “celebration” even though they are not yet of legal age to drink. YES, this is a big day for these students and their families, however, graduation does not make you an adult. These youth are still teenagers who need our guidance and support to make the right decisions. Scientifically they still have the risk of damaging their growing brains until about 21 years of age. With all the growing that is still needed to be completed, lets not contribute to the possibility of damage being caused due to the consumption of alcohol and substances of abuse.
I believe, like many of other people, that we need to celebrate the achievements of our youth. They deserve to be acknowledged for all their hard work, dedication and time that it took for them to finish high school or their GED. There are ways that this can be done without us as family members, parents and caregivers providing them with an “OK” to consume.
To the comment that have heard before, “It’s harmful, they deserve to have fun.” “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
The worst thing that can happen is that your loved one, your friend could die….All that work and their achievements to be thrown away because they wanted to drink and drive, or the person they are riding with was drunk and driving….or your graduating child could be the innocent one that was following the law and not participating in underage drinking or driving drunk and they were the victim of someone else’s negligence and got killed. They could get arrested, and depending on the field of study they want to go into or the type of employment they are looking at it can greatly impact their ability to do these things if they have a DUI or OWI on their record. Protect your youth, protect the community’s youth, make sure they are able to continue on that path they have chosen for their future…
Please be safe this graduation season, have fun and be responsible!!
What are some ways that you can celebrate graduations and have a good time without alcohol being involved for minors?? What Culturally positive ways are there? Please leave your comments and post graduation pictures if you would like we would love to see them!by