As teens grow older lots of things change. They go to different schools, start new sports and get involved with new hobbies. Their minds grow and their talents and interests do too.
They also tend to develop different friend groups and new relationships. It can be hard to watch your teen head out for the night with the friends that you do know. But it can be even harder to see them leave especially if you do not trust the friends your teen has chosen.
Even if you completely trust your teen, this situation is nerve-wracking.
As your teen goes out for evenings of fun with friends it’s important to check on what they’re thinking. Oftentimes as we grow up our opinions can change. So, it’s important to find out what your teen thinks of drinking alcohol. Try some of these tactics to open up the conversation about alcohol with your teen.
Do not interrupt your teen.
The quickest way to end a conversation is to get upset and mad about what your teen is sharing with you.
This should be a time to open up the doors of communication – not a time for you to lecture your teen.
Do not jump to conclusions.
If your teen shares with you that they have friends that drink, don’t assume that means that they are drinking too.
Jumping to conclusions will likely make them mad or defensive.
Ask your teen how their thoughts and how they feel about alcohol.
Ask them if they think alcohol can be used in a responsible way.
Let them know the risks of using alcohol at any age and about the risks of driving impaired.
Ask your teen how they feel about teens that drink.
Ask your teen explains their feelings about other teens using alcohol.
You will likely see their personal opinions emerge. Use this as a chance to ask them about they can plan to avoid those careless or dangerous situations in the future.
Listen as your teen shares their opinions and/or attitudes.
As a parent, you want to make sure that your teen feels heard and respected. The best way to get their true opinion is to make sure that they feel safe to share those thoughts.
By being open in your communication you let your teen know that they can come to you. This in turns helps you to make sure they have the knowledge to stay safe and sober.