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Spring Break Confessions: Part 1

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Teens go for the fun, sun, and surf ... and many add massive amounts of drinking, drugs, and dangerous sex when they get there.

These spring break confessions are shocking testimonials from real teens for whom going away means going to scary extremes--getting drunk and high, hooking up with strangers--and, too often, ending up arrested, sexually assaulted, or clinging to life in the hospital.

Although stories like Natalee Holloway's make front page news, author, pediatrician and ML contributor Dr. Cara Natterson says most teens can't anticipate consequences because, "their frontal lobe, the C.E.O. of their brain, isn't fully developed yet," which is why so many teens still live like there's no tomorrow.

So, how can you keep your child safe? "The most important thing is to set limits," says Dr. Natterson. "If you know the situation will be wild, don't let him or her go. It is equally important to keep talking to your child. Bluntly tell him or her what worries you. Use short-term examples like: 'You won't to be able to play sports next week,' instead of talking about long-term addiction or eventual loss of brain-cells."

"While it is true that the chemistry of the teen brain, with its impulse-intensive responses, will often win out over your words of warning--your words are still valuable," says Dr. Natterson. "Every time you sit with your child and have that talk, it's another piece of hay on the haystack. Eventually the stack gets big enough that you are influencing your child's decisions." Ready to get started? Download our discussion guide: HTML or PDF.

Did you or your child go on spring break? Take our Spring Break Survey.
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Coming tomorrow: Shocking teen confessions about spring break sex.


next: Kegels for *Dads* ... Say What?
185 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nikki April 7, 2008, 5:20 PM

Ok, so I’m a 20 year old college student. I was raised by parents who were never too strict but they paid attention to what was going on in my life. I went, and paid attention, in the DARE classes the schools offered… I listened to the horror stories told in sex ed. I have been entirely financially responsible for my college education. I am now an RA on campus and I see every day people who completely waste their lives with drugs and alcohol, normally kids with expotential money from their parents. I have never had the desire to do drugs, i doubt I ever will. I lost my virginity in high school, have had several partners but I know to always use protection and not just expect that some jerk will do it. I drink and party, why because sometimes you need a break from the stress of college. I know my limits and try not to surpas them. I am safe and smart about what I do because if I get kicked out of college that is MY money that I lose, no one elses. I had my first “spring break” trip this year. I paid for it all by myself, and so did my friends. Me and some of my other friends went to Disneyworld, why? Cause I had never been before. We partied, we drank an had a good time, but we were safe and keep a look out on one another.
No matter how you look at it, none of your answers are entirely correct. It is a little bit of everything. It is the values your parents instill in you (not shove down your throat), it is your personal responsiblity and values, it is who you spend your time with, it is where you put yourself, it’s what you can afford to do (both timly and financially). Teens are going to do what they are going to do, if you are smart you let them figure out how to do it ON THERE OWN, that means no funding, no providing to their habits, no strict overbearing rules, no judgements and no remose if they screw up their lives. You are their parents, that is all you will ever be and I doubt few will ever see you as more than that. You aren’t godly… you can’t control them, you can only stop yourself from aiding them.

Cera April 7, 2008, 5:21 PM

I hung out with this partying crowd in H.S. and college. We live in a beach town in Florida so going away was a waste of money to us when we could just drive 2 min. I never really drank after my first drunken night when I could barely remember what I did the night before. That scared me to death! After that I never really drank that much, I became the all-time DD. But my soberity made all my friends constantly pick on me for not drinking (I’M DRIVING YOU HOME, DO YOU WANT TO DIE, OR DO YOU WANT TO NOT DRINK AND YOU DRIVE US HOME?!?). I eventually got labeled the Debby-Downer because I was never Debby-Drunk.
I was also the only one in my circle that did not have any financial parental support, so my alcohol money was pulled from my rent.
This whole situation is not that big because you forget the other half of college Spring Breakers that are not binge drinking, they are enjoying their time off.
The young adults (because they aren’t kids anymore) that are drinking this much are the ones that grow up to be alcoholics. If they think it’s not a problem, that it’s cool, then they wil never get it out of their heads until they or someone they know is hurt from it. You can tell them all day long, but the best lesson is one you learn yourself.

seenitall April 7, 2008, 5:24 PM

parents with all you all know goes on at spring breaks why why why do you let your kids go??? don’t you love them enough to try and protect them anymore. the crap that goes on is terrible. I live in a beach area and see stuff that makes you feel there is no hope at all for this country if these kids are our “future”…
you parents who let them go should be a shame of your self. they can’t go if they don’t have money you rich pigs throw outlike it is candy.. i guess you just don’t care maybe you all act this way and don’t think your little darling isn’t acting that way as they are

Taz April 7, 2008, 5:24 PM

IM currently a senior in high school and will be attending appalachian State in the fall …in my current high school spring break isn’t a big deal AT ALL!!!!! …..However this video doesn’t come as a shock to me. SO far I have been brought up very well but I feel that spring break is not the issue because the type of activities you see on this video is the everyday lives of some teenagers. Telling your child not to go to spring break is smart but when they are 18 and up and have hopefully begun college they are going to go with or without your consent. Its up to the parent to raise there child to be smart and make the right decisions. Telling them no will only make them rebel against you. SO I say raise your child right and you wont have to worry about them disrepecting themselves or others.

Lou April 7, 2008, 5:36 PM

i couldn’t afford Spring break, so i went in July; it was hotter than hell and i spent my days looking for shade. the nights weren’t much better, rabid mosquito’s and humidity you could drown in kept me indoors, peeling off the layers of burned skin. perhaps if they swirch Spring break to Summer horror in Florida the kids will learn how to survive living on the Sun and stay out of trouble here on Earth.

John April 7, 2008, 5:41 PM

Most that I have read is good advise. As a parent of a 20 year old daughter going to UGA, GO DAWGS, I have always let her “express” herself. The first 2 years of college she did the spring break thing and had a good time. This year she asked to come spend the week with me in VERY boring Sheridan, WY. There is not that much to do here but she wrote me saying she had a great time just hanging out, no school, no work…
My only problem to the Drinking, drugs and outrageous sex is the lack of paying the price if you are busted, catch an STD or get knocked up. Most kids today run home to mommy and daddy asking to be bailed out or rescued. You want to party like an adult, then be a responsible adult.
Oh and as the father or a 20 year old daughter, touch her and I will track you down like the dog you are. :-)
Semper FI!!!!!

Pete April 7, 2008, 5:45 PM

What is the difference between what teens and college students do on Spring Break and what Senators, Congressmen, and Governors do during their political office? I see no difference.

Thomas April 7, 2008, 5:46 PM

Ummm…how is this different from any typical weekend at most universities? Not justifying it AT ALL, but these stories are the same stories that I have seen and heard over and over again for the past few years at major universities. The question is how do you stop it?

Ilyce April 7, 2008, 5:52 PM

I suppose it all comes down to how you view your children. I always viewed mine as my children and not as some “roomates” that all live in a household being supported by me.
I also viewed my kids in the same light as how I would take care of my investments.
I watched and protected my investments very closely, and I did the same with my children, after all they were worth more to me. My investments could always be replaced, but not my children.

Kimberly April 7, 2008, 5:54 PM

I live in brownsville texas, its about 20 miles away from south padre… and let me tell you.. spring break week is horrible! the kids that come down here have access to the border which is about 30 minutes from south padre. Thats where all the alchohol comes from.

Angela April 7, 2008, 5:54 PM

For Spring Break, I went to Iceland with my Mom. I had a great time! It was my dream to go to Iceland, and my parents were kind enough to pay for me to go.
The students who drink excessively during Spring Break are the same ones who are drinking excessively the other 51 weeks of the year. “Not letting them go” on a Spring Break trip is not going to fix the problem.

J April 7, 2008, 5:57 PM

I was wild myself here in nyc when I was younger, but I am a guy and if u have a daughter then she should NOT be San Pedre Island !

It is looking for trouble and sometimes it happens.

The Music to this video is over the top and trying to be dramatic, just stop being creative it did not work !

Lou April 7, 2008, 6:06 PM

What the hell are you taking a break from? Go to work, go to war, most all of the teenagers nowadays are spoiled by their parents who haven’t got a clue to what damage their attitude has caused. Yeah, live it up you idiots.

lizzy April 7, 2008, 6:10 PM

I’m a teenager and that doesn’t look like fun at all. It’s scary.
Do whatever you want to do but there is no way that if you do drugs you can reach your full potential.
And unlike a lot of people who are leaving comments on this, I actually want to have a good life and not be high all the time.

Jackie April 7, 2008, 6:14 PM

um the best times of my life were at spring breaks and if you dont let your kids go you r RUINING THEIR LIVES!!!! yea so a lot of people drink and do drugs but who cares thats part of being in college!! just explain to your kid that there is a limit, and im sure they wont pass out or OD or anything like that. spring break is the best time of the year, and if you deprive your kid of that amazing fun you have issues. also, its a good time to see how independant they really are, if they can control themselves.

Anonymous April 7, 2008, 6:23 PM

I’m tired of all the people that think they are better than someone else when they claim “i’e never done any drugs, and have no desire too.”
Then in the very next sentence talk about drinking as if it were nothing.
Wake up people, alchol IS A DRUG, and from my experience its way worse that some of the illegal ones.

Anonymous April 7, 2008, 6:25 PM

spring break is the best… college is pretty much the same thing too

Terri April 7, 2008, 6:28 PM

If you are over 18 and can finance it yourself, then you are responsible for your own actions. The problem is, many of the high school kids now go on spring break, not just college-aged. If you want to stop your 16 year old from going, you have the power. Be your child’s parent, not their “friend.”

tom April 7, 2008, 6:38 PM

Why I never got in trouble….my father was a strict (loving) person from the WW2 generation…a benevolent dictator….. he made it clear to us that if we got in trouble he would let us rot in jail forever….no bailing us out for “anything”. If you want a car….get a job and work for 3 years to save the money. Want car insurance? Pay for it yourself. The parents of this generation are spineless “big kids” with rotted brains from all the acid they did in the 1960s & 70s.

Angela April 7, 2008, 6:42 PM

Also, did anyone else notice that 95% of the comments in the video were from women (like most of the other Spring Break Exposed things in the news)? I guess that makes sense though, since men can’t die from drug or alcohol poisoning, and are naturally immune to all STDs.

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