If you are the parent of a teenager, you understand the challenges faced each day with your children becoming adults. As your children turn into teens, it is important to consider the potential risks of their experimenting with substances such as drugs and alcohol. Ensuring you and your children have a positive and healthy relationship at all times can help when it comes to keeping them away from abusing drugs and alcohol. Talking to your teen about alcohol as soon as they learn about it is highly recommended to lower the risk of them giving in to peer pressure.
Encourage Open Communication
Taking the time to establish a positive relationship with your teen is the best method of preventing them from using alcohol or drugs when not in your presence. Encourage open communication from a young age so your teen feels comfortable sharing their lives with you as they grow.
Spend Time Together
Spend one-on-one time together, especially if you have other children. Dedicating time to your teen shows you care and are genuinely concerned about their happiness and well-being, which may get you more respect from your teenagers.
Be Honest About the Risks
Be open and honest about the risks of using alcohol, including the fact that it is illegal for those under the age of 21 in the United States. Share risk factors such as falling behind in school, failing or even turning to other risky behavior such as engaging in unsafe sex or illegal crimes when under the influence of alcohol.
Discuss Family History and Addiction Issues
If you have a family history of substance and alcohol abuse, it is essential to talk to your teen about the issue. Informing your child of family members who have suffered because of alcohol can help to steer them clear from using it themselves. It is also important to lead by example when you are talking to your teen about alcohol. Share stories that are honest about your own family while also taking the steps to avoid drinking or using substances yourself. The more positive role models your teen has around them, especially within their family, the easier it is to say no to peer pressure.
Avoid Scolding Your Teen for Being Honest
When your teen comes to you and talks openly about drugs, alcohol and other substances, avoid scolding them to keep the lines of communication open. Instead, allow your teen to feel safe when coming to you about issues they are struggling with, even if they are using alcohol.
Set Firm Boundaries
Set firm boundaries in your home when it comes to alcohol. Setting a strict “no alcohol” policy for anyone under 21 in your home helps to keep your teens from feeling free to do anything, including drinking alcohol. Having firm boundaries in place shows your teen you genuinely care about their well-being and want them to stay healthy. Encourage all siblings to keep one another in check at all times.
Once you have established an open line of communication between you and your teen, you can then ask questions about parties, peer pressure and other issues your child may be going through themselves. Avoid asking too many questions at once with your teen, or questions that may be too personal or invasive for them to feel comfortable asking. It’s essential to have the ability to gauge your teen’s moods to know when the best time is to talk openly with them.
Consider an Inpatient Rehabilitation Program for Your Teen
If your teen has clearly already demonstrated the inability to handle themselves and they have become addicted to using alcohol regularly, consider an inpatient rehab program. Inpatient rehabilitation programs and treatment centers provide both one-on-one and group therapy for anyone enrolled within the program or facility itself. Inpatient rehab programs help to detox from using drugs and alcohol while also monitoring progress of each individual within the facility.
Knowing how to talk to your teen about alcohol can help to relieve stress while also giving you a bit of peace of mind once you have established a solid relationship with one another.