Dealing with a teen who drinks is difficult. Not only will you have to deal with his defensive arguments and behavior, but you will also have to deal with his belligerence and some hostility as well. If you don’t know how to handle the situation properly, it could easily make things worse between the two of you.
Below are some tips for dealing with a teen who drinks.
Talk to Him
One of the reasons why teens drink is because they have problems. It could be problems in school or at home, and it could even be peer pressure. If you know the reasons why he drinks, then you will know how to help him break the habit.
However, when you talk to him, don’t be so critical and harsh. It could only push him away. Instead, approach the issue carefully. Talk with him when he’s in a good mood and relaxed. In fact, it’s better if you talk about mundane things first to make him feel comfortable before you address the issue of his drinking problem. You’ll find that it’s going to be easier for him to open up to you.
Remove Any Alcohol at Home
Once he’s opened up to you about his problems and you two have a good plan to address the issues, the next step is to remove all alcohol at home. If you always keep bottles of wine at home, then be sure to keep them in a locked cabinet. Keep the key with you at all times, and make sure that the lock is sturdy. If possible, hide the bottles where he can’t find them, instead of keeping them in the kitchen, the pantry, or cellar.
You don’t want to give him easy access to alcohol as this can tempt him to go on a drinking binge. If he feels that things are becoming too stressful for him to handle, encourage him to approach you. Together you can come up with better solutions, than your teen resorting to alcohol again to forget the problem.
Know Where He is
Make it a house rule to always know where he is, may it be at a friend’s house, the mall, or school. While it won’t assure you that he won’t drink, at least he knows that you can easily check on him if you want to.
If he’s going to a party or to a friend’s home, tell him that you’ll come pick him up if he needs a ride. It doesn’t matter if it’s late or where he is, and it doesn’t even matter if he’s drunk or not. The important thing is that he knows you’ll be there for him if he can no longer drive himself home. You don’t want your teen to be so afraid of your reaction that he’ll risk getting behind the wheel and drive home even if he’s had something to drink. If this happens and he’s caught, he could end up facing DUI charges or, worse, getting into a car accident.
Let him know that you trust him and that he can trust you as well. Let him know, too, that you’re always there to help him. If these don’t help though, then it’s time to seek professional help.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Jennifer Dahline writes for a DUI attorney in Broward County. Teen drinking is a prevalent problem nowadays, but it can be stopped. If your teen has already been charged with DUI, then hire a good lawyer who can help him.