There are no perfect answers when it comes to helping your teen make good choices about drinking. However, there is a style of parenting that has been proven to dramatically reduce the chances that your teen will choose to binge-drink. Officially known as "authoritative" parenting, we prefer to call it something a bit more personal: heart-to-heart parenting. What's the heart-to-heart parenting style look like? You can check out the details on parenting styles here.
But to make it even easier, here's an interactive, heart-to-heart Q&A that should help you develop, or just fine-tune, the parenting style that works to curb teen drinking.
A parent using the heart-to-heart parenting style understands that their teen will be bombarded by outside influences and pressures to drink, but uses them as teachable moments to openly discuss drinking choices and consequences.
For a heart-to-heart parent, uncomfortable conversations come with the territory. Setting boundaries and sticking to them—but also encouraging a two-way discussion—will help your teen understand that their choices have consequences.
Talking about your own past choices, good and bad, will create a more authentic connection with your teen for having an honest conversation about drinking. In fact, 83% of teens say that parents are the single most powerful influence when it comes to making choices about drinking.
When in doubt, heart-to-heart parents adopt a trust but verify tactic. This lets your teen know that you respect their desire to experience freedom, but in safe environments.
Just because your teen screws up doesn’t mean they are a lost cause. Your involvement and intervention as a heart-to-heart parent can make a big difference in them making better decisions in the future.
Learn even more about the heart-to-heart and other parenting styles here.