Posted by Melissa Burlaga
To some teenagers, spring break means...
"people just like on the balcony of a hotel room, taking their clothes off, kids getting drunk on the beach."
"yea you do get drunk, there is underage drinking and stuff."
But experts say spring break can also be a final testing ground for high school seniors to show self-restraint and maturity.
"People expect you to go crazy on spring break and like to hear stories about what you've done... But most people, I don't think so."
"I think that if you use good judgment at home you're probably going to use good judgment when you're out somewhere foreign to you."
Can your teen handle the risk?
Experts say, in part, the answer depends on how much practice they've had when they were young.
Sleepovers, going to concerts or parties with their friends: they're all opportunities for kids to learn to act responsibly...
"Where they have to use this judgment not for a four day period, but for a four hour period."
He says, if you let them go on spring break, find out who's going and where they're staying ... And then talk about limits.
"You know what I'd do? I'd bring all the peers together that were going to go and I'd have a group discussion, with the parents and the peers, that way the likelihood of somebody keeping their head, and because what we know about adolescent is it's peers that have the most influence."
Still, there are risks ... Drinking ... Sex ... Accidents ...
So ... There is one more thing parents can do: say no.
"Adolescents depend upon us as parents to set the limits so that they don't have to. But yet they can still complain about it."