Everyone knows that parenting today involves so much more attention than years earlier. Whether it is the technology, sex life starting younger, entitlement issues or even the increasing numbers teenagers turning to substance abuse to relieve their stress. Parents having stress is understandable. Stress of making the rent payment, mortgage, car, jobs, etc… Teens shouldn’t be experiencing the stress levels that seem to be growing. Does it have to do with peer pressure, bullying, cyberbullying? Stress of getting those straight A’s as colleges are getting very competitive? Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting Expert and author of over 26 books on parenting, has created a hot-list for parents with 9-quick-tips to help turn your troubled teen into a teen that believes in themselves and wants to achieve in life – without using drugs!
Tips for Parents of Troubled Teens:
1. Get savvy. Please don’t use a “Not my kid” kind of attitude. Forget the “He’s too young” or “Not my daughter!” attitude as well. Teen drinking and substance abuse is a growing problem that we simply can’t ignore. Kids are taking their first drink at younger ages. Drinking amongst the girl scene is also increasing. We all need to take a reality check. 2. Be a good model of restraint. Teens get their views about alcohol from watching your behavior and listening to your comments. This research also is a warning that we not glamorize alcohol or say we’re using pills or alcohol as a way to unwind, “I sure could use a drink!” The research shows that teen girls in particular are getting high as a way to cope. Beware! 3. Set clear rules against drinking and drugs. Feel free to be puritanical and strict. Consistently enforcing those rules and monitor your kid’s behavior all help reduce the likelihood of underage drinking. A study of over 1000 teens found that kids with “hands on” parents who establish clear behavior expectations, monitor their comings and goings, and aren’t afraid to says no are four times less likely to engage in risky behaviors like drinking. Be a parent, not a pal. 4. Start those talks earlier and talk often. You must talk to your child about drinking and the earlier the better. Before age nine, kids usually perceive alcohol negatively and see drinking as “bad” with negative consequences. By around the age of thirteen kids views of alcohol, change and become more positive and harder to change. Some kids are experimenting with drinking as young as ten or eleven. It’s never too early to start this talk, so don’t put it off.