Be a good exampleMany of us like a drink socially, but be honest with your teenager and explain why you like to drink and that you stay within limits to avoid coming to harm and to protect your health. If they often see you drunk, they'll think, 'Why shouldn't I do the same'
Ask them about their friends. Do they drink regularly? Explain you understand the temptations that their friends may put upon them, and ask them what they would do if they were offered a drink or what they have done if they have had a drink.
What if they have had a drink?Don't panic. Threatening them or arguing won't help. Stay calm and wait until they sober up before talking about why it happened and why you're annoyed. If they've been out with a group of mates and come home drunk, speak to the other parents and get the full story before discussing it properly with your child. Give them a chance to explain and listen to what they tell you.
Keep them safeExplain that if they do end up having a drink they should:
- Avoid overdoing it by drinking slowly and not on an empty stomach.
- Avoid spirits and stick to lower strength alcohol brands.
- Think about how they are going to get home safely.
- Stay with a friend for safety, and not to go off with strangers or abandon their friends when they're under the influence of alcohol.
- Be aware of drink spiking when they're out and the importance of keeping their drink with them at all times.