keeping your teens safe; alchohol drugs sex and peer pressure

Shary - posted on 01/23/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My teen is now 16 and these issues are starting to appear. Any wise moms want to chime in on how they dealt with these scary subjects?

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Jodi - posted on 01/23/2014

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Lots of discussion. These are topics I have been talking to my 16 year old about for a couple of years. He asks a lot of questions, I am honest. I am not seeing a lot of peer pressure, thankfully! The sex, that is starting to concern me, but I just have to hope I have educated him sufficiently that he understands the risks. Our 21 year old has managed to get to 21 without being pregnant (that we know of) and she is about to complete her University degree. Sex, well, she has been there, alcohol, yeah, she has been there too, but she has been responsible.

It really all comes down to open dialogue. Keep that open, don't be too hard on them. You can't control it, but you can be there when they need you, and you can keep the dialogue open.

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Shary - posted on 01/23/2014

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Really appreciate your response and it sounds like you did an amazing job rising above and beyond some difficult circumstances while raising your kids. Impressive work and good for you.

My 16 year old daughter, who has been so intensely against drugs and alcohol, mainly because of alcoholism in her father (now deceased), confessed to me that she drank with her friends at a sleep over. That was after she sulked around the house for a week. I knew something was wrong and she finally confessed. She felt much remorse. I told her I was glad she told me and I was proud of her for being honest and forthcoming . We had a lengthy discussion on the dangers of drinking and discussed what she can do in the future when she is confronted with similar situations. Good talk. The dilemma that I now have is, I don't want to punish her because she came to me and clearly had been punishing herself enough BUT Im now uncomfortable with her having sleepovers at that friends house. I don't want to do anything to discourage her from coming to me in the future but I feel the need to keep her safe. I sense that her friend is a bit of a wild
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Angela - posted on 01/23/2014

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A lot of this can be dealt with long before they reach adolescence. Peer pressure manifests from a very young age anyway.

My kids weren't "told" about drink and drugs - they were shown. And it was the same with crime and poor choices. My first priority, education-wise, was to get them reading, writing and fully literate from a young age. Have them understand that reading isn't just about formal education - it's about keeping informed on a social level and it's about pleasure as well. People who have a poor standard of literacy hardly ever read for pleasure. Invariably those with poor literacy associated "book-learning" with school, discipline and hard assignments - often they were made to feel like a failure. They would never DREAM of picking up a book and reading for pleasure!

As soon as a child can read fairly fluently (say, around the age of about 6), they should be shown newspapers - preferably LOCAL ones - that have stories in about crime and poor choices RELATING TO PEOPLE THEY KNOW.

We lived in a rough district and there were people with alcohol and drug problems all around. And I pulled no punches - neither did my friend who was also raising a family. Our kids grew up scorning and ridiculing people who made the wrong choices. Once they reached puberty and beyond, they would never dream of falling into the same trap.

Also never make the mistake of being "judgemental" and "thou shalt not" about any of these issues. Just let them see for themselves how people's lives are negatively affected by the wrong choices.

Good luck!

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