Some practical tips for parenting teens, however belief is everything and communicating a message of ‘I trust you to be responsible and I believe you know the right thing to do’ is crucial. Also, do not forget to tell them how precious they are to you and that they can always call you and that you are always there for them, no matter what.
… On alcohol
“Expressing disapproval or concern over drunken behaviour is a good way to start to get the message to young children across that alcohol can lead people to do things that make them look silly.
“Don’t be naive about parties, even those supervised at home by other parents … drink can easily be smuggled in to houses, and innocent-looking water bottles/mouth freshners can easily contain vodka.
“If she is out with friends, always make sure that you see her on her return, and engage her in conversation. If she smells of alcohol, or strongly of mints, or of a different perfume, then you are right to be suspicious.”
… On teenage parties
“ Rules set out in advance and consequences agreed if rules broken
“A strong, active adult presence at all teenage parties is essential
“If alcohol is to be allowed at a party, limit access to wines and beers only … I am not sure that it is ever wise to let young people pour their own!”
… On tattoos and piercings
“Concentrate on open discussion of facts, for example that tattoos and piercings might deter potential employers.
“Try the ‘what will this look like when you’re 40?’ tack; perhaps suggesting she imagines what you’d look like with the same piercings.
“Perhaps you could offer her some shopping money to buy new clothes or accessories ; occasionally bribery is an acceptable strategy!”
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