How To Talk To Your Teen About Alcohol
As a parent, there are always going to be tough conversations to have, from exams to drugs and many other conversations too.
Alcohol is one of the conversations that many parents dread. However, it is extremely important to talk to your teen about alcohol.
Having a real, non-judgmental conversation with your teen will help you to keep them safe and acting responsibly.
Get The Tone Right
To have a productive conversation, you need to get the tone right. Make sure that you are having a conversation with your teenager. Be careful to avoid simply giving them a lecture about how alcohol could put them in a place such as the Inner Voyage Recovery Center.
Listen to them as well as talk. If you listen, this will encourage them to pay attention to what you have to say. In turn, they will be more likely to share their thoughts with you. It’s important that you don’t sound judgmental, critical, or disapproving when you do talk to your teen about alcohol.
Get The Timing Right
Talking about important issues like alcohol needs to be done at the right time.Trying to start a serious conversation with your teen while they are on the way out the door, about to go to bed, or while you’re in the middle of something is never going to result in a productive discussion. #communication #parenting… Click To Tweet
If you can have a number of calm chats, you are more likely to have an impact on the decisions that your teen makes about their own drinking. Think of it as an ongoing discussion, not one chat.
Choose Conversational Triggers
If your teen hasn’t brought up the topic of alcohol with you than you could look for a hook to get started. For example, the storyline of a TV show, stories about family or friends, or a celebrity scandal involving alcohol. Ask them what they think, and take the conversation from what they say.
Alternatively, you could simply let your teen know that you have an important topic to discuss and that you would like their opinion and thoughts.
You do not want your teenager to catch you out in a lie or being hypocritical. It’s much better to be honest and use your answers to open further discussions. For example, if you drank at their age, be honest. However, do be certain to discuss any negatives that you, or your friends, may have experienced. If their questions become uncomfortable for you, it’s ok to say so.
Teenagers will often test boundaries. Breaking the rules is something that many teenagers do. However, most teens will feel safer if they do have guidelines and boundaries in place. They will even appreciate it!Put clear rules in place, discuss why they’re in place, and agree on punishments for breaking those rules. #parentingtip Click To Tweet
What If My Child Comes Home Drunk?
A better question is how to make sure your teen never does this!!!
In addition to the above tips, I also strongly suggest that you make it very clear to your teen that if they are ever drinking (or doing drugs) or are out with people who are that they are to call home and ask for a ride. Assure them that you will not lecture them or punish them and that you will pick them up no questions asked.
Try to stay calm. If they’re drunk, this won’t be a good time to have a discussion. Instead, make sure they are safe, give them water or electrolytes long with some pain reliever and then send them to bed.
During the next day, very calmly ad with a judgment free tone in your voice talk to your teen about alcohol use or whatever they experienced. Ask them to explain what happened. Listen, and then ask them how they feel about the occurrence. Then tell them how you feel, whether that’s angry, disappointed, or concerned.
Be sure to review the issues that you have previously discussed about alcohol, and any new issues along with the risks, the agreed rules, and the punishments.
Be sure to follow through! This is the golden rule of parenting!
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