Seven Key Tips for Parenting Teens

You hear people say that being a parent is the most rewarding thing they have ever done. No one will tell you that it is always easy. Sometimes being a parent can be tough, especially in parenting teens who are faced with pressure to try or use alcohol or drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that children who use alcohol are more likely to:

  • Use drugs
  • Get bad grades
  • Suffer injury or death
  • Engage in risky sexual activity
  • Make bad choices
  • Have health problems

Of course, none of these things are part of the future that we want for our kids. There are many groups who work together in our counties to stop children from trying and using alcohol and drugs. Schools, parents, law enforcement, health department, counselors, faith groups, and many others come together to support our kids making healthy choices.

As spring fever moves in and everyone starts to feel restless, we have some tools for parents to use from www.talkaboutalcohol.org. Here are some key tips to positive heart-to-heart parenting:

  • Listen with an open heart
  • Set clear boundaries and expectations
  • Enforce firm, fair consequences
  • Be consistent
  • Understand that every teen is different
  • Work toward solutions, not just fixes; and
  • Encourage your teen’s independence

These parenting tips can help parents to better communicate with their kids about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

For more information about this topic or how to connect with prevention coalitions in our area, contact the Four Corners Health Department at (402) 362-2621 or toll free (877) 337-3573. You can also visit our website at www.fourcorners.ne.gov.