There is no real guarantee that your teen will not touch alcohol and drugs in his lifetime. The only way that you can prevent this possibility from happening is proper education about the ramifications and consequences of too much alcohol and taking drugs. However, education alone will never be enough. Yes, he knows what could happen to him, but who can say that simply knowing the effects will stop your teen from trying them. If you want to be sure, you need to be able to trust him and for him to trust you, too. Below are alcohol and prevention tips that any parent should know.
Know His Friends
When he has friends over, you should get to know them, too. Ask their names, who their parents are, where they live, etc. Getting to know his friends is a good way of knowing the type of crowd he is running around with. Furthermore, they will also be a good source of information if ever your teen has a problem and will not open up to you.
It will also be a huge plus if you also get to know their parents. The relationships you build with them, even a very casual one at that, will be a big help if you need to find out about your teen’s activities, such as cutting classes, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs.
Let Your Teen Trust You
Peer pressure is one of the biggest problems in teens. The pressure from their friends could push them into doing something they normally will not do. If you want to help your teen deal with peer pressure, then let him know that they can trust you. If he makes a mistake, tried drugs, for example, or drank alcohol at a party, let him know that there will be repercussions. The penalty will not be severe the first time, but that they will increase the second time he has committed the same mistake.
If peer pressure is becoming too much, then let your teen know that he can use you as a sort of scapegoat when saying no. He will feel more comfortable saying “My parents will ground me for a month if I do that” than continually saying “I don’t want to do it.”
Be His Role Model
You should be a good role model for him. Remember, if your teen sees you drinking yourself to oblivion, then he is bound to think that that is the norm and might copy that in the future.
Build a good relationship with him. Let him know that you trust he will make sound decisions, and that he can trust you, too, if ever he makes mistakes. Get involved in his life, and ask him about his studies, his friends, his extracurricular activities, or how his day went. Be his friend.
The process of building a good relationship with your teen is difficult, and it will also be painful and bittersweet at times. But it can be done. Going through it will always be better than dealing with the negative consequences of alcohol and drugs such as addiction, petty crimes, DUI offenses, drug possession charges, etc.
Jennifer Dae is a content writer for a number of parenting and relationship blogs. Alcohol and drugs do damage to families.