How to Talk to Your Teen About Drinking

As difficult as it may be, it's important and necessary to know how to talk to your teen about drinking.

Drinking can be a hard subject to talk to your teen about because they most likely have different views on the subject than you, but it is crucial to know how to talk to your teen about drinking. Based on what kids hear from their friends they usually think drinking increases their social status and makes them seem like an adult. However, as a parent, you need to instill in your child the contrary. Advise them that alcohol not only has a destructive nature but is illegal. When you talk to your teen about drinking you should be strict with your expectations for them and be proactive in making sure they listen to you and don't engage in underage drinking. 

Explain the negative side effects of alcohol.

You should explain to your child the negative impacts of drinking and how it can impair a person's judgment and make them more prone to engaging in sex and making bad decisions. Also, you should explain to them the extremely dangerous risks of drinking while driving. Tell your teen about how it is very serious to get stopped for driving under the influence and how it can affect their personal life and result in large fines and possible jail time. Also, advise your child how drinking and driving can increase the odds of your child getting into an accident and severely injuring or killing themselves or someone else. 

Teach them to resist peer pressure.

Tell your child they should not feel pressured by their friends or other kids to drink. Explain how it can be difficult to say "no" to someone if they offer you a drink but tell them how they know the difference between what's right and wrong. Also, tell them how if someone is trying to force them to drink then they are not a true friend and shouldn't socialize with them anymore. Advise your teen to only be friends with people who have their same belief system and won't pressure them to drink. Let them know it's acceptable to be the only one not drinking

Always communicate openly with your child.

Make it a friendly environment when you talk to your teen about drinking so they know they can talk to you openly about the subject and not be ridiculed or mocked. You should explain to your teen that you are always available to listen to them and answer questions. Communicating openly and knowing how to talk to your teen about drinking, decreases the odds of them drinking, and makes them more likely to respect your wishes. 

Don't be accusatory towards your teen.

When you talk about drinking you should never accuse them or judge them, that is the opposite of how you should talk to your teen about drinking. If you end up accusing them they will no longer feel comfortable talking to you about drinking and may not be as open with you. Instead of judging your child you should explain your opinion nicely and calmly. 

Explain how they can't drink until they're 21.

While you talk to your teen about drinking make it clear to them that it's illegal to drink until they turn 21 years old. Make it obvious that if they are caught drinking the police are well within their right to arrest them for disorderly conduct, drunk driving and a multitude of other reasons. Also, explain that legal effects associated with underage drinking can stay with a person for a while and affect their college applications and job searches. 

Teach your teen the dangers of underage drinking.

Tell your teen the terrible and scary consequences that can result from them engaging in under age drinking, such as sexual assault, alcohol poisoning, possible death and a decline in their academic work. Also, it can increase their chances of becoming an alcoholic later in life. Make it clear how the some of the effects associated with underage drinking, such as illicit drug use, impairments in the brain, suicidal tendencies and car accidents can haunt them later in life and cause lasting impacts on them. 

Tell your child your expecting them to not drink.

Explain to your child that you are expecting them to listen to your orders and not drink until they reach the legal drinking age. Tell them they are a good child and have a bright future ahead of them that doesn't include drinking. It's necessary when you talk to your teen about drinking to make it clear how disappointed you will be if your teen goes against your wishes and decides to drink before they are 21 years old. 

Put any drinking myths to rest.

Be clear to your teen that drinking will not actually make them popular or happy. Instead, explain how it is a depressant and can make them sadder instead of happy. Also, explain how it can be addictive and they can increase their likelihood of becoming an alcoholic by starting to drink at a younger age. Teach your child about the nasty results of drinking too much and getting a hangover. These myths about alcohol are important to explain and important in how to talk to your teen about drinking, just so there's no confusion about the side effects of alcohol.

Advise your teen to consistently tell you their plans and who they will be with.

While you talk to your teen about drinking make sure you inform them to tell you their whereabouts and who they will be with at all times. If you don't monitor their activity they can end up being exposed to alcohol without you knowing. It's important to make sure that there is adult supervision at parties too so they don't drink or engage in dangerous activities, all vitally important when you plan on how to talk to your teen about drinking. 

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How to Talk to Your Teen About Drinking