When your teenager comes home smelling of alcohol, there are a few steps you can take to make the most of the situation. You need to follow all the steps below to make sure that you do not ruin a chance to have a good talk with your child. When you follow these steps, you will find that you and your child can have a good conversation in the midst of a bad situation.
Do Not Get Mad
You can be frustrated and disappointed, but do not get mad. You have had alcohol before, you have no place to judge your child. In fact, you may have done the same things that you have caught them doing. You need to reserve your anger and focus that energy on something else.
It is fair to ask your child how much they have had to drink, where it came from and who they were with. This is also not the time to go calling all the parents of your child’s friends. You are simply going to drag other people into a situation that does not really involve them. Their parents can parent them, and you need to parent your child. You do not have time to parent some other kid.
You should keep the conversation going to ask how your child feels. There are many times when your child is not going to feel well simply because they have had too much alcohol. Sit them down at the kitchen table or in your office. Make a pot of coffee and start to talk about how to get over a hangover. Do not spend time shaming your child. They will be able to deal with alcohol better in the future if you are calm.
Set New Boundaries
When you are in this situation with your child, you need to set new boundaries that are going to help them stay within the rules. You do not need to ground them or shame, but you do need to make sure that you set new boundaries. You can make a new curfew, ask to review all the places they are going to go or ask them to check in at new times. When you set these new rules, you are not ending their life. You just want them to know that you are watching even if they are not around you. This is a good way for them to think about what you would think when they are doing something. This helps them without frightening them.
When you are trying to teach your child something useful when they come home smelling of alcohol, you need to be sure to follow these steps. You can teach your child a great deal, but you must do it in a way that is normal. This may seem like a movie script, but it is the best way to deal with your child. They will learn something, and they will feel like you actually understand their life.