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The Sensible Way To Approach Your Teenagers About Alcohol's Hazards

Author: John Hack

The sensible way to approach your teenagers about alcohol's hazards

Parents of teenage boys and girls can be understood and condoned for being concerned about their children's behavior. There is nothing wrong or irresponsible about this - even if your children happen to be model examples of youth, it never hurts to remain vigilant.

Alcohol is one of the primary hazards teens encounter. Whether it happens when they're hanging out with tight-knit groups of friends or thrust into a party full of unfamiliar faces, the pressures and dangers involved are the same. It can be easy for them to make a single mistake that leads to a chain reaction of problems further down the line.

As a result, you, as their parent, have to step in and explain to them that this isn't the way to go. Doing so involves a particularly delicate balancing act, which won't exactly be easy to pull off.

You have to be authoritative here, and convince them that underage drinking is not only dangerous but stupid. While doing so, you have to avoid coming off as a "dictatorial" parent - this may only strengthen their resolve to defy you, and even if it doesn't, it's never a good idea to present yourself as an enforcer. You're a parent, and although that does involve being a disciplinarian at times, that should only be one aspect of how your children perceive you.

The best way to have the discussion is to wait for the right time - ask them about it they second you become genuinely worried and respond instantly if they ask you about it. Conduct a calm, rationally-spoken discussion. Don't speak of alcohol as some devilish substance but rather as something that's not intended for children and is associated with a number of dangers and health hazards - the simple truth, in other words. 

If you have teenagers, are you concerned that they'll start drinking?

In Brief

  • Parents of teenage boys and girls can be understood and condoned for being concerned about their children's behavior.
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