3 Tips For Talking With Your Teen About Alcohol

When you’re raising your kids, there are a few conversations that you know you’ll have to have even if they might not be pleasant to speak about. For many parents, talking to their kids about drinking alcohol falls into this category.

But while you might think that your child won’t have to deal with issues like being offered alcohol or wanting to drink alcohol or being in a car with someone who’s been drinking, there are all situations that it’s better to be safe than sorry with.

So to help ensure that your teen is safe, here are three tips for talking with your teen about alcohol.

Ask Them Why They Shouldn’t Drink

Almost everyone knows that there’s a legal age at which they’ll be able to start drinking. However, many people don’t make it to this age before having one or more drinks. Despite this, these laws are put in place for a reason, and it’s wise to teach your teen just why this is.

Rather than you just preaching to your teen about this, the Mayo Clinic suggests that you first ask your teen why they shouldn’t drink. Some of these reasons may include the risks associated with drinking alcohol at a young age, any family history of alcoholism, and the potential dangers your teen could be putting themselves in.

By having your teen come up with these reasons on their own, and then you filling in the gaps, you’ll be able to gauge what’s important to them and will motivate them not to drink until they’re legally allowed.

Make Your Rules Clear And Firm

As your teen gets to an age where you think alcohol could come into the equation, it’s important that you speak with your teen about what your rules are regarding their use of alcohol and what the consequences will be for breaking those rules.

According to Chris Woolston, a contributor to HealthDay.com, these rules will likely vary from family to family. While some parents take a zero-tolerance policy, others are willing to allow their kids to try things in a safe environment. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, make sure you’ve made the limits for your teen very clear.

Go Through Scenarios Together

Just knowing that they shouldn’t drink often isn’t enough to arm your teen with when facing the pressure to drink. Because of this, it’s a good idea to go through some potential scenarios together so your teen can plan how they’ll react or respond when it a sticky situation.

For example, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that you should run through scenarios regarding peer pressure and other situations so your teen will have an idea of what to say or how to handle themselves.

If you’re concerned about how to talk to your teen about drinking, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you maneuver through these conversations.

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