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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020
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Are you worried about your teen heading out for JC night? Here's some advice...

Parents and those running bars and off licences are being asked to be extra vigilant today.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

IT’S JUNIOR CERTIFICATE results day and that means there will be some happy, disappointed or just relieved teens out on the town tonight letting off steam.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a job well done, but the National Parents’ Council and drinkaware.ie are asking both parents and licensees to be vigilant for underage drinking.

Over half of those aged between ten and 17 do not drink alcohol and the groups have said parents should be actively involved in preparations for the night.

“Peer pressure is a strong influencer on teenagers’ behaviour and young people’s beliefs about the behavioural norms prevalent within their peer group may not be accurate,” commented drinkaware.ie’s chief executive Fionnuala Sheehan.

She said it is important that young people are made aware of the fact that more than half of their peers do not drink and parents should point this out to them.

Parents are very important role models for their children and can guide young people’s drinking behaviour through leading by example, discussing alcohol with them openly, and setting out clearly explained rules for them to follow.

Those selling alcohol, either in supermarkets, off licenses or pubs, also have a responsibility and the groups said parents are doing their kids no favours by buying alcohol for them.

If you’re a parent with a teen heading out to celebrate tonight, here are some tips:

  • Consider having your child’s celebrations at home, and inviting his/her friends over instead of going out;
  • Consider treating your child and some friends to a night at the cinema, local bowling alley or another venue where alcohol is not available;
  • Offer to get involved in your child’s plans for the evening, eg drop your child to their friend’s home and pick him/her up again at an agreed time;
  • It is important that you talk to your child about his/her plans, express any concerns you have and explain why you are concerned;
  • Enquire about who your child plans to celebrate with should it be necessary for you to contact him/her;
  • If your child is heading out agree what time he/she needs to return home by;
  • While it is very important your child has sufficient cash (for taxis or public transport), consider how much spending money he/she should have for the evening.

For more advice, download a copy of Alcohol: A Guide for Parents.

Read: Half of 16-year-olds have drunk alcohol in the last month, down on 2007>

Read: Galway organises free ‘mega-party’ for Junior Cert students>

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