Trust But Provide Support: The Art of Keeping Your Teen Safe When You Are Out of Town

Vacation season has arrived and, while travel plans have diminished, there are still people that need to travel for work or are looking to spend time away from home while a teen or two remains home. For those that struggle with whether or not you should have someone stay at the house. Or, question if doing so somehow diminishes the trust you have for your teen, you are encouraged to think, “Trust but provide support.”

The best support you can provide is an adult to come stay with them. In our family, it was always the grandparents that came to stay. For others, it may be an Aunt, Uncle or other friend of the family. This does away with the temptation to have a party or be influenced to do something because no one is watching.

Putting this safety in place is akin to locking up or monitoring your alcohol and medicinal or adult use marijuana, if it is used. A practice we always recommend. The simple truth is, by limiting access, we make it easier for our teens to make good decisions. It simplifies things for them. They can’t be pressured into doing something like have a party while the parents are away or use substances their brains are not yet prepared to handle without consequences.

If you do not have a trusted adult to stay with your teen, there are still some options to help. If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, let them know you will be out of town and ask them keep an eye on the house and help if there are any emergencies. Or, ask a friend to stop by to check on them and serve as an emergency contact. Then, let your teen know who their support person and how to get in touch with them in an emergency.

Additionally, it is a good idea to check in regularly. A phone call is better than a text. As far as how often, touching bases at least once or twice a day is advised. This allows your teen to know you are thinking of them and are still focused on caring for them while away.

Wishing you safe travels and safe teens!