Encouraging Sobriety in Your Home
Teens who use drugs have a high chance of developing addictions later in life. Many factors can lead a teen to drug use, such as curiosity, peer pressure, and emotional distress, but strong parental guidance can prevent such behavior. So, what can you do to help your teen?
Set Up Boundaries
First and foremost, set some rules and boundaries for your teen so they know what behavior you condone and what behavior you do not allow. Let them know that you do not tolerate underage drinking and drug use and that you expect them to follow your rules. Although it may sound harsh and authoritative, you must make your beliefs and expectations clear.
Create Open Communication
Although rules and regulations are important, they are ineffective without open communication. If you are too strict with your teen, you may end up straining your relationship and cause them to rebel. Instead, create an environment where your teen feels comfortable talking to you about their lives, including their interactions with drugs and alcohol. If they tell you they were at a party or were around people who drank, do not lash out in anger. This will only discourage them from talking to you in the future. Show understanding and have constructive conversations that will promote good behavior. Through communication, you can create mutual trust between you and your teen, making them less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol.
Lead By Example
This tip may seem obvious, but it is something many parents fail to do. To encourage your teens to live an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle, you must live one yourself. Keep alcohol out of your home and show your children what it means to live a healthy, sober lifestyle.
Allow Sober Socializing
Many teens start drinking and partying because they associate the lifestyle with a sense of fun and excitement. Although partying may seem fun at first, it can lead teens down a destructive path. Prevent your teen from attending parties by encouraging a healthy, sober social life. Allow them to have friends over at your house for get-togethers, sleepovers, and movie nights, and take them on fun excursions like trips to the mall or the movies. With a healthy, fulfilling social life, teens are less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol for fun.