Positive reason: Fit In Even when peer pressure is not obvious, teens may feel that without drinking, they won’t be seen as a true part

Positive reason: Something to Do Some teens get bored and turn to alcohol as a means of entertaining themselves. Alternatives: Encourage your teen to get involved in sports, hobbies, music, dance, games, reading, and school clubs. He or she could volunteer with organizations associated with causes they care about, such as protecting the environment, preventing drinking and driving, or promoting literacy. Teens often go to parties as a means of entertainment. Since drinking frequently occurs at parties, it’s a good idea to monitor and set limits about the kinds of parties your child attends (including leaving a party where alcohol is served). Suggest ways teens can enjoy themselves without alcohol or other drugs.

of the group. Alternatives:

Emphasize to your teen that “war stories”—like who drank the most shots, who blacked out, and who had the worst hangover—only highlight the dangers of drinking. Encourage your teen to focus on his or her own values and to overlook boasting about drinking and drunkenness.

Parents can try to influence who their kids pick for friends, but parents cannot choose their kids’ friends.

Positive reason: Lift Mood Many teens believe that alcohol or other drugs will help them get in a better mood. Alternatives: Reassure your teen that it is normal to feel sad and stressed at times. Explain that it’s possible to improve their mood without alcohol or other drugs. Exercise is an excellent way to help improve mood. Also note to your son or daughter that the “high” from alcohol is accompanied by extreme lows as well.


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