When you are trying to talk to your teenager about alcohol and drug addiction, you need to talk to them in a way that is going to be impactful. You cannot change their mind all at once, but you can help them understand what is happening in the world around them. There is a very good chance that your teen has seen alcohol and drugs. There is also a very good chance that they have had a drink or two. You want to use the teachable moments below to ensure that your teen is learning something about alcohol and drug addiction that will mean something to them.
In Hard Times
There are many hard conversations where drugs and alcohol come up naturally. You want to allow these conversations to happen naturally. Your child is going to know if you were just waiting to pounce on them with some public service announcement about drugs or alcohol. They are going to tune you out as soon as they notice that you are just trying to talk about that without any form of context. You must have context for the conversation before you launch into a speech about drugs and alcohol.
In Good Times
When you are having casual conversations with your teen, you want to look for context where you can talk about alcohol and drug addiction. You may want to relate stories to them about your own experiences. This is also a very good time to tell the truth. We live in the information age, and your child can quickly verify many stories that you tell them. If you lie to them about the amount of alcohol and drugs you did, they can find out if you are telling the truth.
Also, you need to be honest with them and yourself about what is going to happen at parties and gatherings. It is sometimes better to accept that they will have the occasional beer so that you are not pushing to do even more than they would otherwise. When your child feels like they can trust you, you are going to get more information out of them. Also, you are not a stupid person. You can smell it on their breath when they get home, and you can administer a sobriety test when they get home. If the two of you can come to a conclusion that is fair to both of you, they are going to feel more comfortable around you.
You must make sure you are using these teachable moments to talk to your child about drugs and alcohol. You need to be realistic, and you need to be natural in your speech. You want to make sure that you are talking to your child about alcohol and drugs organically. If you are trying to talk to them about it out of context, they are never going to listen to you. If you talk to them in a casual way, they are going to feel more comfortable having that conversation with you.