Positive reason: Lower Stress Some teens believe alcohol helps reduce worries. Alternatives: Remind the teen that a problem does not go away because you drink (and, in fact, it may become worse). Help your teen find productive ways to confront problems directly, rather than avoid them. Positive reason: Express Feelings and Reduce Inhibitions Some teens believe that alcohol or other drugs will help make it easier to express feelings or talk with members of the opposite sex. Alternatives: Acknowledge how difficult certain social situations are for teens. But remind your teen that while alcohol might make him or her feel less shy, drinking actually clouds judgment. In addition, alcohol often confuses communication and leads to unwanted sexual advances, arguments, and sometimes fights. Keep Track of Your Teen Ask your teen where he or she is going to be, especially on weekends. Have your teen check in periodically through the day and keep you informed. While you cannot ban a friend, you can limit contact with friends who strongly pressure your teen to drink or engage in other dangerous behaviors.
Parent-Child Connections Help Your Teen Stay Safe! Research shows that the more you connect with your kids… By having dinner together By talking together By enjoying activities By sharing feelings and concerns …the more protected your kids are against alcohol and other drug use.
Positive reason: Go Along with Friends Your son or daughter may feel pressured to drink or do other drugs. This pressure can be direct, like when someone hands him or her a beer at a party, or it can be indirect, like when he or she wants to be part of a group that experiments with alcohol. Alternatives: Parents can try to influence who their kids pick for friends, but parents cannot choose their kids’ friends. Instead, help your teen understand the dynamics of peer pressure and how important it is to be his or her own person. Also, help your son or daughter plan how to react to situations where they could get pressured to drink, such as a friend bringing alcohol to a party.
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