Helping Your Teen Make Good Choices
The biggest reason why teens drink is peer pressure. A friend might directly suggest your child participate, saying “Let’s get drunk,” or your teen might assume everyone else is doing it and that it’s an acceptable thing to do. You can’t completely protect your son or daughter from peer pressure, but by teaching your teen to make good choices and by supervising and monitoring his or her activities, you can help shield your teen from the most dangerous situations. DEALING WITH PEER PRESSURE Sometimes, teens face situations where they are pressured to do something they would rather not do. For example, a friend might push your teen to have a drink when your son or daughter doesn’t want to. Your teen might be told: Come on, everyone has tried it. If you won’t drink with us, then why are you hanging out with us? It’s part of growing up. We drank once before, so what’s the problem now? You’ll have an incredible time if you do. Come on, take a drink. It will get you in the mood. You’ve been working too hard. You deserve to party.
Teens need ways to resist this pressure and rely on their own values, beliefs, and attitudes. You can suggest they use simple “one-liners” that remove the pressure without making a big scene or issue about it. For example, your teen could respond simply: “It’s just not for me; it’s not what I want.” “I don’t drink.” “No thanks.”
Let your teen know that not everyone their age is drinking. Teens often overestimate how many of their peers are drinking or have tried alcohol.
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