Seven Tips for Connecting With Your Teen

1. Communicate before a problem starts.

  • Have important discussions now, before there’s blaming, anger or punishments.
  • Agree on a time to start talking together about the dangers of alcohol.

2. Show you care.

  • Gently touch your teen on the arm or back to show affection.
  • Tell your teens you love them and want them to be healthy and safe. Explain that’s why you need to talk together about the dangers of underage drinking.

3. Discuss rules and consequences.

  • Explain how you expect your son or daughter to act, and why.
  • Tell your teen plainly that you don’t want him or her drinking.

4. Pay attention.

  • Even when life gets hectic, take time out to listen to your teen.
  • Monitor where your teen is and what your teen is doing, constantly.

5. Share family activities.

  • Have dinner together at least three times a week.

6. Give and get respect.

  • When your teen talks to you, listen and reply respectfully.
  • Insist that your teen treat you with respect, too.

7. Enforce consequences consistently.

  • If your teen breaks the rules, stay calm and enforce the consequences.

See also Conversation Starters for Talking With Your Teen.