Teens drink. It’s unfortunate, it’s dangerous, and it’s true. But teens who have all the facts and a good understanding of the situation are more likely to make good decisions, especially about things like underage drinking. Talking to your teens about the risks of alcohol can be hard for any parent, so here are some tips to get you started.
Discuss the Risks of Alcohol at the Right Time
The middle of an argument is not the right time to bring up alcohol use because there’s a good chance they won’t be receptive to anything you say. Instead, pick a time when you both are relaxed, don’t have anything on the go, and are in a calm mood.
Bring It Up Often
The discussion about alcohol shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Talk to your teen regularly about the risks of alcohol, because the more you talk about it, the more your message will sink in.
Engage Your Teens in the Discussion
It’s important to know how your teen feels about alcohol, and the best way to find out is to ask. Ask them how they feel about alcohol, what their friends think, why drinking is appealing, and what they think the risks are.
Don’t Be Afraid to Start Young
Underage drinking can theoretically start at any time, so it’s vital that your teens have the facts, know the rules, and are aware of the risks early on. Every family is different, but for the most part, it’s never too early to start talking about the risks of alcohol.
Be Open and Honest
You want your teens to be open and honest with you, and the best way to help ensure this is to set the right example: be candid with them. For older teens, don’t tiptoe around the subject, be clear about the dangers of drinking and don’t avoid topics just because they make you uncomfortable.
Let Your Teens Ask Questions
Teens are curious, and they’re certainly curious about alcohol. However, they may be too afraid to bring it up, so use the discussion to open the floor to their questions. The important part is that you’re honest about your answers while also emphasizing the risks of alcohol.
Know the Important Topics to Cover
It’s essential that you be a reliable resource for your teens about alcohol, and that includes providing information like:
- Alcohol is a depressant that can lead to anger, violence, and sadness
- Many teenage deaths have been attributed to alcohol-related accidents
- Alcohol can cause problems at school, at home, at work, and with relationships
- Kids who drink are more likely to become sexually active earlier, are more likely to engage in unsafe sex, and are more likely to be hurt in a violent crime
- Alcohol impairs judgment, reaction times, thinking, and vision
- Underage drinking is a risk factor with alcoholism and needing alcohol rehab later in life
- How to say no to peer pressure
Talking to your teens about the risks of alcohol is an important part of every parent’s job, even though it may be a difficult conversation to have. The keys to having this discussion are making sure that you have it often, that there’s an open dialogue. The goal is to walk away from the conversation with a realistic understanding of the risks of alcohol.
Call us today at 888-743-0048 if you think the problem has gotten too serious for your child. We are here to help!