It can seem overwhelming when you think about having a conversation with your teen about drinking. It doesn’t have to be, however. Your teen will be much less likely to partake in harmful underage drinking if you have an open and honest conversation with her about it.25
The most important thing you need to remember is to be open and honest. If your teen asks you a question you don’t feel comfortable answering, tell her that. Tell her you can’t answer that question at this time. Do not lie to your teen.
Another thing to remember is to try to avoid giving your teen a lecture. Make it an open conversation. Ask her questions about her life and her friends and different things she may have heard from movies or television or her friends. Try not to be reactive, but rather, stay calm and talk to your teen in a resolved fashion.
Tell true stories about the dangers of underaged drinking. If you know someone who has gone to jail for a DUI, tell your teenager that. If you know someone who drove drunk and got into an accident, tell your teenager that.
Make sure you are honest with your teen about how it would make you feel if you heard about her drinking. If she tells you she has already been drinking, do not react and yell at her. Tell her you appreciate that she told you the truth, but establish that she took a lot of risks by partaking in such an activity.
Talking to your teen about drinking may seem overwhelming and daunting, but it doesn’t have to. The most important thing that you need to remember is that you need to be both open and honest with your teenager. She will be able to tell that you are being honest, and she will appreciate your openness.