Unfortunately your teen will be exposed to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs in movies, TV shows, and the Internet, possibly from their friends, and maybe even from some bad influencers.
When you see an opportunity, initiate another conversation about smoking, drinking, and drugs (you should have already had a conversation or two in the preteen years.) The conversation you had years ago was fine for the time, but a lot has changed since then. The facts about the effects of smoking, drinking, and drugs on the teenage body and mind haven’t changed, but your child’s attitude probably has. More of her friends may be involved to one degree or another. Have a conversation at least once a year, but more often if you notice anything suspicious: You may smell smoke, vape fragrances, or pot on her clothes or in her hair. You may see other signs like some questionable new friends. Stay involved.
Make your opinions on teen drugs heard, but emphasize your concern for her health and safety first. Point out that these choices are still illegal for her, and now that she is interested in getting a job or getting into a good college, how a criminal record makes both much harder. Avoid lectures and employ searches for evidence and Socratic questioning. Enforce the rules you have set. You are still the adult, and she still lives in your house. You have the right to establish the rules. Of course, you will get better “buy in” if she has some input in the rules, but the responsibility is still yours. Don’t be afraid, and don’t put it off.
One of the best things you can do is help her find a peer group that shares your beliefs. Another thing is to help your child develop an internal moral compass so that she gets her self-esteem based on her own beliefs, rather than the beliefs of her friends.
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