From the moment they born, you have most likely been scared about something when it comes to your child. Should she be sleeping in that position? Is he allergic to this? Is he growing like he should? Do I read to her enough? As parents of pre-teens or teens those fears have probably morphed into, who is he riding with? Do I trust her parents? How we will pay for college? Let’s face it, raising kids can be scary, but it is important to remember that as they get older, teens have fears too. They worry about their future just like you.
You can’t ease of all of their fears, but when it comes to the pressure of underage drinking you CAN help set them up for success and give them the tools they need be prepared to say no when the time comes.
A conversation about alcohol, your expectations and the rules you have set for their behavior are vital in determining whether or not your teen will experiment. By talking with your teen about alcohol use, preparing a plan of action if they are faced with this decision and determining how they feel about alcohol use will help ease your fears as your teen grows but more importantly, ease theirs.
Going through “what if” scenarios is a great way to allow your teen to prepare what they will say if friend offers them alcohol.
Here is some sample “what if” scenarios to get the conversation started:
-What would you do if you were at a party and someone offered you a drink?
-What would you do if the person you rode with started drinking?
-What would you do if you are at a friend’s house and someone suggests getting into the liquor cabinet?
This simple exercise gives your teen time to think through what they will say if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation and ease their fear about how they will handle themselves in these situations.