Your Teen’s World As young people grow into teens, they face many changes: ࡟ Their bodies mature and develop. ࡟ They face new pressures at school and socially. ࡟ They encounter new moral dilemmas about risky behaviors, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.

and their brains develop, they can become more thoughtful. Instead of telling them what to do or what is right or wrong, you might ask “ How would you handle an invitation to a party where there will be older kids?” “ What things could you say?” “ Why do you think drinking alcohol, using marijuana, or taking other drugs, or impaired driving, or getting into a car with a friend that has been drinking is dangerous?”

The changes teens go through affect how they think about alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, driving, and getting into cars with friends who drive impaired.

To communicate effectively with your teen about alcohol, marijuana, and other risks, it helps to understand how these changes affect his or her world.

FINDING HIS OR HER OWN WAY Teens often feel that the world revolves around them. They get self-conscious and are easily hurt by critical comments. A teen assumes, “no one has ever felt the way I feel.” Because a teen feels unique, if a parent says “I know how you feel,” the teen may reject this as impossible. This is why most teens make decisions based on emotions and how they feel at the moment. This is a normal part of brain development. As teens get older,


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