Lead day-to-day examples of your values. Show compassion, honesty, generosity and openness you want young people to have. Teens who learn anti-drug or alcohol use messages at home are 50% more likely to use. Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to teen’s drinking and drug use.
Build Your Support Network
Build a support network to connect with others when an issue arises. Below are some community and health specialists who can guide and inform you:
School counselors and student assistance professionals
Employee assistance professionals
Family doctors or pediatricians
Community health centers
Set Ground Rules for Teens
Set clear rules and discuss in advance the consequences of breaking them.
The rules must be consistently enforced.
Set a curfew. And enforce it strictly. Be prepared to negotiate for special occasions.
Have teens check in at regular times when they’re away from home or school
Call parents whose home is to be used for a party. On party night, don’t be afraid to stop in to say hello (and make sure that adult supervision is in place).
Make it easy to leave a party where alcohol or drugs are being used. Discuss in advance how to signal you or another designated adult who will come to pick your teen up the moment he or she feels uncomfortable.
Listen to your instincts. Don’t be afraid to intervene if your gut reaction tells you that something is wrong.
Staying in Touch with your Teen
Make a list of your teens activities for the coming day and put it on the fridge, on a calendar or in your wallet or pocketbook.
Walk through your neighborhood and note where your teen’s age hang out.
Know your teen’s friends. Have a small party at your house and invite the parents of teen’s friends.
Work with other parents to get a list of everyone’s addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers so you can keep in touch with your teen.
Occasionally check to see that your teen is where they said they were going to be.
This website was developed under grant #1H79SP016497 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ONDCP, SAMHSA, or HHS.