If you’ve noticed that your child is acting unusually or that they have been stealing alcohol from you, then you might be concerned that they’re struggling with a substance use disorder. Alcohol is commonly used among teens, even though it does have the potential to be addictive and cause behaviour issues.
If you want to talk to your child to find out what you can do to help them, it’s important to foster excellent communication.
Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Drinking
- Choose a time when you’re calm and relaxed to have a discussion with your teen about drinking. – The first thing you should do is find a time when you’re calm and relaxed to have a discussion with your teen. Ask them to speak with you on a weekend or when they’re calmly in the home, not when they’re in a rush, angry, or upset. Now is the time to foster good communication, and that starts with both parties being calm.
- Ask your child if they’re interested in drinking. – The next thing to do is to talk to your child about their interest in drinking. You will find that accusing them of drinking will immediately shut down a conversation, but asking about what they think gives them time to express themselves. If they admit that they’ve been drinking, try to be objective and receptive. They’re being honest, so you can continue the conversation with your concerns.
- Highlight the risks of teen drinking and let your child know that you are listening. – It’s important that you tell your child that you understand what they’re going through. Express that you hear what they’re saying and understand why they may feel the way they do. Explain that there are some risks of drinking at their age, and explain what your concerns are. Not being aggressive or accusatory will go a long way in making this a positive conversation, so try to remain calm.
- Be sure to offer compassion and support. – Finally, be compassionate. Tell your teen that you didn’t know they were struggling, that you didn’t realize they were so worried about fitting in, or whatever the issue may be. Communicate that you want to support them, but also express clear expectations moving forward. If you want your teen to stop drinking, then tell them that you won’t accept them doing it in the future. Explain what will happen if they do, so they are not surprised if you call a counsellor, rehabilitation facility, or treatment center if it’s needed.
Addressing drinking with your teen isn’t always going to be easy. But, by being calm, direct, and understanding, you’ll be able to have a difficult conversation with a higher likelihood of a positive outcome. There is support available for teens like yours, but the first step is to find out what kind of support they really need based on how they’re feeling and which substances they may be abusing.
Contact Venture Academy for Support with Alcohol or Substance Use Disorders
At Venture Academy, we offer counselling, teen behaviour therapies, and other helpful treatments for teens struggling with teen alcoholism or alcohol dependency. In our alcohol abuse residential treatment program, we accommodate clients with the earliest dates available for treatment and individual placement to prevent exposure to youth who may have more serious behaviour issues.
Our goal is to have a positive impact on your child and put a stop to teen drinking. Contact us today at 866.762.2211 to learn more about our programs and what we can do to help your child move past this troubling stage in their life.