ENFORCING CONSEQUENCES As a parent, be ready to follow through and enforce consequences if your teen violates a family agreement. Permissive parents do not enforce consequences, but positive parents do, and the science about which style helps children and teens is clear and without exceptions. Discuss your position on alcohol and other drugs, impaired driving, and riding in a car with a driver that has been drinking or using other drugs: How you expect your teen will behave and why you take that position. Consequences you will enforce if the teen fails to live up to those expectations. Establishing consequences in advance appropriate to the violation. It’s best if your teen has no surprises if he or she breaks the agreement. Do Impose a consequence if your teen violates an agreement. Impose consequences consistently. Be very clear about no underage drinking. Don’t Base your actions on anger. Impose a consequence arbitrarily, in the heat of the moment.
Consider research from the United States and Europe: these studies show that teens who are given alcohol at home are more likely to drink alcohol when they are away from their parents. They also get drunk more often at early ages. It is very important to discuss all four highly risky behaviors. The Bottom Line Teens who believe their parents approve of them drinking alcohol are more likely to drink outside the home, drive impaired, and ride with other drivers who are impaired. Teens are young and still learning about behaving responsibly. You can help your teen find many other ways to practice responsible behavior besides drinking alcohol or using other drugs. As a parent, don’t feel the pressure to give in and let your teen drink before the age of 21. The science is clear that being permissive does not improve the relationship between a parent and a teen, but rather negatively affects it. Also keep in mind: there can be legal ramifications to serving alcohol to your own child or other people’s children. In some states, parents may serve their own children alcohol. Adults, however, are never permitted to serve alcohol to other people’s children. What’s more, it is illegal for young people under 21 to purchase or possess alcohol.
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