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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.

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next: Kegels for *Dads* ... Say What?
185 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous April 7, 2008, 6:47 PM

Dont u wnt ur kids to hav fun over break?!
Let them go some where safe, but still let them be themselves

Concerned Person April 7, 2008, 6:48 PM

What do you suppose is going on with our society? What you heard and saw from these future young adults is actual reality. Not to sound too pesimistic of what is ahead, reality is that others will take over. Specifically the future of our country depends on how we handle the abuse/temptations that face OUR young people today.

Educated Teen April 7, 2008, 6:50 PM

Im 18 and im insulted that these few idiots are being chosen to represent my generation. Not all teens spend spring breaks drinkn n partyn without any thought what so ever. A good friend of mine spent one of her spring breaks helping in Louisiana after Katrina hit. Another went to party in montreal but did so responsibly, frontal lobe development my behind, these kids appear to be spoiled suburban rich kids with too much money/time on their hands.

anonymous April 7, 2008, 6:52 PM

Listen here, im not trying to be rude or anything, but im a young 15 year old girl and
I have great parents who have instilled good morals into me, i live a great life, and live the american dream.

but this is what my point it, no matter how much parents teach you whats right and wrong, no matter what your going to have the wild streak in you.
my parents have always taught against drugs and drinking, but the more they tell me not to do things, the more that wild rebellious streak kicks in.

Everything they tell me not to do i want to do.
So what im saying is, us as teenagers are going to do what we want damn it.

Anonymous April 7, 2008, 6:54 PM

When I was in High School ALL my friends went on vacation by themselves and more than 1/2 drank themselves stupid and had casual sex. 1/4 of them did drugs. Thank god I had parents who were on top of things and I, thank god never did drugs of any sort and I’m really proud to be able to say that. While I used to envy my friends having so much freedom. I am thankful now that I didn’t.

I am now 30 with 2 of my own children and I have adopted my mother’s motto “I’m your mother you don’t have to like me”! I wish more parents would adopt that mentality. You are not your childs friend you are there to protect and save them from themselves! the sooner parents realise this, the better off we’ll all be!

Anonymous April 7, 2008, 7:01 PM

let them go to casper wyoming for spring break it is a great city to read books and play monopoly

Sweets April 7, 2008, 7:02 PM

I agree with Casey(from the GMA post) in that I’m 19 and I never partied stupidly like these kids here and you know what…there’s ALOT of teens/ya’s like me who can say the same!

I’m curious to know this: So, what’s the excuse for adults who make dumb decisions everyday—like sleep with hookers while in office, or sleep with your 12 yr. old student?? Where’s their C.E.O.?

C’mon…there’s only so much you can explain away with science! After that, it’s called stupidity or responsibility. CHOOSE ONE.

P.S.: We all know what choice those dumba$$ed kids made—but they DON’T represent me and a whole lotta others!)

Chuck April 7, 2008, 7:09 PM

This is what your suppossed to do on Spring Break. I did it, all my friends did it, now we are in our late 20’s and are very successful. This is what happens, you can’t shelter your kids, because they need to experience life for themselves. Spring Break in no wilder than a regular weekend at college. Everyone please drop the holy than though attitude.

NONI April 7, 2008, 7:11 PM

ONE QUESTION???WHAT’S THE AVERAGE AGE OF OUR MEN/WOMEN IN UNIFORM FIGHTING THE WAR…”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.”TO YOUNG TO PARTY, NOT TO YOUNG TO FRIGHT, KILL AND BE KILLED FOR OUR COUNTRY..DOES THIS SEEM RIGHT?.OH AND I’M 60 AND A GRANDMOTHER OF FOUR WITH 3 GROWN CHILDREN THAT HAVE ALL DONE VERY WELL IN LIFE.. . I WENT ON SPRING BREAK.

person April 7, 2008, 7:12 PM

YA’LL R CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cassidy April 7, 2008, 7:17 PM

All this really depends on how mature your kid is. I would let my sixteen-year-old daughter go on a little spring break vacation with her friends down by the beach because I know she won’t do anything she will regret later because she is very mature and responsible for her age and listens to everything I say. And the fact is, we’ll have to let our kids grow up eventually!!!!! Sooner or later they’ll all be eighteen and adults and have the right to do whatever they ant without their parents telling them what to do. WE PARENTS CANNOT CONTROL OUR KIDS LIVES FOREVER, YOU KNOW!!!!!!!

Norman April 7, 2008, 7:29 PM

The media, the instict to be recognized, to be IN AND LIKED?? Working parents today ignore major time with their children no matter what age. You must find the time to hear what they are saying, what their bodies want or not want, console, help and listen. listen, listen and educate to today’s times. Many wish to be heard and are not given the time to be heard. You can preach, console, regress to your own upbringing…however, today is a jungle of convulution, freedom that it is OK to do and practice certain agendas. Any teenager, college age knows what the hell is going on…the weak minded fall into the pits of drugs, a no brainer of degradation, sex is normal and many wish to blosem and explore but with protection, sensibility and not stupidity. Allow an avenue of direct conversation with your chilren, make them comfortable to talk, pour out their thoughts with no malice, offer suggestions and solice..relate actual experiences you may have had growing up…but listen…not to is toal ignorance. They cry out for help and guidance….hopefully with an intelligent Family, they will get and receive same. Amen.

50wt April 7, 2008, 7:30 PM

OH WAHAAAAAAAAA
How can you expect these people to act like adults? Parents don’t want to raise them, or teach them responsibility, self discipline, self respect, common sense or common courteously. If they get into trouble ma/pa will be there to whip out the check book to make it alright and explain their son/daughter could not possibly be irresponsible.

nicky0927 April 7, 2008, 7:41 PM

this is what happens when parents don’t discipline their kids at one and two years old. We laugh at their foul laguage and excuse indescent behavior, yet we expect their beavior to magically change when they get older…whatever! I can’t say m child will not do the same when she gets older but best believe I am making sure I do my part now and knows what it is to have self respect. I was in college and had my fair share of fun but I knew where to draw the line. Parents are not what they used to be. I would laugh and joke with my mom but better beliee when I stepped out of line she put me right back in it. Disciplining your child early is what will determine whether or not they are Penn State material or material for the State Pen!!!!

Alycia April 7, 2008, 7:53 PM

This is disgusting. I am 19 years old and in college and I couldn’t believe what I was watching. These selfish rich brats do whatever they want whenever they want and set a completely bad image for all the rest of us. Hopefully they’ll all get off their piles of mommy’s and daddy’s money and grow up.

Will April 7, 2008, 7:55 PM

C’mon now, they’re in college! You think they don’t drink alcohol or go to parties at school either? They aren’t “children” anymore, they are adults, with voting rights and the right to join the military if they so choose. So what if the drinking age is 21? That’s an arbitrary age set by politicians and it used to be 18, remember parents? When YOU were at college doing shots and hitting Happy Hour?

Anonymous April 7, 2008, 7:56 PM

i live close to south padre not everyone is like that basically it made the city look bad. If the parent of those kids that were in that video raised them well they wouldnt be acting like they did.

Olivia April 7, 2008, 8:06 PM

I just turned 23, and I am finishing up my senior year in college. This expose doesn’t surprise me one bit. 99.5% of the young people that I know engage in underage binge drinking and drug use. Marijuana, crystal meth, and ecstacy top the list. This behavior goes on in high school and college. Spring break doesn’t change anything. Spring break only allows more like-minded people to engage in all the activities they are doing back at home with their friends. My closest friends and I have never been on spring break, but that hasn’t stopped us from trying drugs on a few occasions.
As a parent, all you can really do is teach your children to be responsible for themselves at an early age. Just hope that experimenting stops there, and doesn’t become a habit. Beyond that, there’s not much a parent can control. The influence of friends is far too great. Your kids will tell you one thing, and do as they please behind your back. Even when it comes to sex. A few of my girlfriends were “guilt-tripped” by promise rings given by their parents to maintain their virginity until marriage or a committed relationship. All my friends said the same thing, “I promise not to tell them!” and laughed.

Anonymous April 7, 2008, 8:09 PM

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lamb28 April 7, 2008, 8:47 PM

Let me put it this way…I went to Cancun for my senior trip when I was 18 years old. Because of that experience my children will NOT go on spring break! It is nothing but bad news.


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