17 Set limits and boundaries Adolescents need their parents to make rules and set limits. High school students also need to know that they will be held accountable for their actions and their behaviors. Even though young people often complain about parental rules and restric- tions, knowing that they have a parent who cares enough to make sure they “stay on track” gives adolescents a much needed sense of security. Be a good role model In today’s world, children are barraged with messages from a variety of sources. The messages that children listen to the most, however, are the messages they get from their parents. Know that your words and actions have a tremendous influence on the way your child views the world and interacts with people. “Studies show that students whose families eat dinner together do better in school and are less likely to get into trouble. Dinner is a great time to reconnect.” Carolyn Hall, counselor If you think your child might be involved in an activity that’s wrong or harmful, listen to your instincts and take action. Be aware and be informed u Many adolescents experiment with drinking and/or smoking. Unfor- tunately, drugs are also too easy for young people to obtain. Make sure that you keep prescription drugs in a secure location, and look for opportunities to discuss the dangers of drinking, smoking, and using drugs. One conversation is not enough. u While many parents do not completely understand the technology their children are using, all parents need to be aware of how, and for what purposes, their children are using their computers and cell phones.