Here is an example of how you might handle this question: “I did have a drink when I was younger. However, we did not know as much as we know now about the risks of alcohol. If I had known then, I would have done things differently. This is why I am talking to you about it. I want you to be safe, healthy, and happy.” Underage Drinkers Tend to Binge Drink ࡟ Underage drinkers behave differently than most adult drinkers. ࡟ Adults typically have a drink or two with a meal or at a party. Teens drink less frequently, but tend to consume larger quantities than adults.

Your son or daughter will probably ask if you ever drank as a teen. This creates a dilemma. If you drank and say “no,” you are being dishonest. If you say “yes,” your child will think you are hypocritical to expect different behavior from them. Honesty is important and you should not lie to your teen. Parents use different approaches to answer this question: Making the topic off limits. Some parents establish a “ground rule” at the start of their discussion: they will talk about everything else, but will not answer questions about their own use of drugs or alcohol as a teen. The parent explains that the parent’s behavior as a teen is not relevant to the teen’s current use of alcohol. This strategy works in some families, but not in others. Teens usually become convinced that their parents are hiding something and resent that their parents won’t talk about it. Admitting mistakes and emphasizing negative outcomes. Other parents admit they drank as teens, but focus on how it was a mistake. They use their own experience to discuss negative outcomes, such as how drinking led to an embarrassing moment or dangerous situation. They stress that because the parent behaved foolishly and was lucky enough to escape serious consequences does not mean that the teen will have the same outcome.


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