You talked to your teen many times about drinking. Then you find out they’ve been drinking. What do you do? Your teen will be exposed to alcohol by the media, social media, movies, ads, etc. Out of curiosity, your teen may try it; Here are a few steps to take in response to catching your teen drinking alcohol.
- Don’t react in anger. With as few words as possible, let them know that you know about it. Then be silent. Give it a day for you to calm down and for your teen to think about it.
- When you’re calm, sit down with your teen and ask open-ended questions to determine why they were drinking. This is a heart issue and you need to understand what’s going on inside. Maybe it was curiosity, peer pressure, a means of escape, an identity or image issue, or flat out rebellion. If your child doesn’t want to talk, let them know that you’ll just sit there with them until they discuss it with you.
- Help your teenager develop right thinking about alcohol. Communicate to your teen that:
– Alcohol is a depressant and, if they are down or depressed about something, it will only make matters worse.
– It is illegal for anyone to buy or possess alcohol until 21 years of age.
- Talk about consequences and your future expectations. Now is the time to circle the wagons and bring your teen closer to you and closer to home. Start by letting them know the consequences of their actions.