Teenagers are challenging to raise and it is often unsettling to a parent when a teen desires more freedom and independence. Understanding that our teenagers are not savvy in the world and the risks that come along with independence and freedom, we often limit or restrict a teen’s unsupervised outings for fear that an adverse event may occur. If you plan to give your teenager more freedom and independence, be sure your teenager is carrying a wallet and there are vital pieces of information contained within it.
In every teenager’s wallet, there should, of course, be some for of identification. If your teenager is not old enough to drive, then be sure your teen has a state-issue identification card. If not eligible for a state-issued identification card, then obtain an identification card online that will include your teenager’s picture, address and vital statistics including birth date, height and weight.
In addition to a basic identification card, you will also want to be sure that your teenager has a medical alert card within the wallet. Even if your teenager is healthy, a medical alert card will provide essential information to paramedics and law enforcement should your teenager require medical attention when away from home. A medical alert card should include information about who your family physician is and if your teen has any allergies to medication or known health conditions.
Beyond medical data cards and identification cards, be sure your teenager also has a legal card that will provide information on an attorney they can call should they need legal advice or assistance. In most cases, an attorney will not speak with your teenager without a parent present, but this is a good piece of identification to have should your teen be unable to speak or not be able to offer information about who they are. The legal identification card may also provide your teen with a resource for obtaining quick short answers to commonly asked questions about scenarios they encounter.
Teenagers often need guidance from parents and, as parents, we understand this and do not allow our teens much freedom or independence. As a way to encourage your teen to venture into their own activities without parental supervision, be sure your teen is carrying a wallet with these vital pieces of identification. In doing so, you can be assured that your teen has the identification they need should an unusual even occur that will require assistance from a third party.
Sources: Parents Raising Teenagers in the 21st Century, pp. 98-103.