Instead of saying "it's just a game." when your son or daughter gets upset about losing a game, you can say " I know you are disappointed. I am proud of how hard you tried." Going Along With a Group Kids include others in their moral reasoning. If their peers do something, it makes the behavior seem more okay.Your son or daughter may justify decisions by saying, “but everyone is doing it. ”Youth often believe they should be excused for misbehavior if it was unplanned or if they are one of many. They may say, “We did not mean to drink; things just happened; kids make mistakes.” This is where you as a parent can play a big role, by communicating with them about what the family rules are and working with them to form plans if these situations arise.

Also, as a parent, you can share facts and provide alternate information to things that your child perceives are prevalent. For example, not everyone drinks alcohol and you can share that with your child to inform and educate them of this fact.

Risky Business Because adolescents’ brains are still developing, adolescents take more risks with alcohol. They act impulsively and don’t recognize that their actions, such as drinking, have consequences. Alcohol is especially attractive to young people because it reduces their social anxiety more than it does for adults.


Remember to use questions that start with how, what, and why. You might ask “ How would you handle a situation where your friends want to drink alcohol? What would you say to them? Why do you think drinking is dangerous for them and you at your age? What could you do differently?” Parents can help kids practice thinking through the pros and cons of different alternatives.


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