High Quality Agreements A good agreement is clear and understood by all. However, parents and teens often make agreements only to have the teen break them. Instead of being a true agreement, the agreement really imposes what the parent wants. At times, you may have to ask for an agreement based on respect for your authority. In those cases, emphasize that your purpose is to protect and your intent is to eventually give freedom. Agreements are most likely to be honored when they are made in the context of high-quality relationships. High quality relationships are built on mutual trust, where both participants are confident that the other will be honest, responsible, and caring. High quality relationships are characterized by: Respect for one another. Empathy and understanding. Knowledge of each other. Mutual trust. Concern for one another.
Even if your teen says what you hope to hear (“I don’t drink”), it’s still important to talk together about alcohol. Ask questions, listen without defensiveness, and expand your teen’s thinking. Discuss how he or she might handle or avoid risky situations that could come up. Your teen may not admit to drinking yet, but you can still set no-alcohol rules. Talk together about alcohol to help prevent your teen from drinking underage.
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