Agree on what to do about your concerns
Talk about the best way to resolve your worry issues together. Maybe your teenager could call or message you during the evening while they’re out? Maybe you could agree on a time when they’ll call or text so you avoid calling a mobile phone that no one answers and getting more and more worried.
Tell them how you feel
However good your intentions, even the most caring reminders can be boring and sound like nagging. Teenagers can, just like everyone else, attempt to empathise with another person’s feelings, so tell them how worried you are, what it’s like being a parent, and how it feels when you don’t really know they’re OK. By telling your teenager this sort of thing, you show them that you trust them to be able to be responsible.
I get annoyed for a while when my parents worry, but afterwards, you realise it's because they care.
Ella, aged 15, Umeå
Kids don’t ever want to make their parents unhappy
It might sometimes feel as though your teenager wants to hurt you, but you have to try and look past this tough shell and remember that behind it, there’s a child. No teenager really wants their parents to be unhappy. The chances of a teenager taking slightly better care of themselves increase when they know that they have a parent who cares.
You can’t control everything
If a teenager has made up his or her mind to drink, then he or she will probably do precisely that. It’s regrettable that it’s so easy for teenagers to get hold of alcohol, but that’s not something that you can prevent all by yourself. So shouldering all of the blame and thinking you’re a bad parent is pointless. You can, of course, influence your teenager through the positions you take, but you can’t eliminate all the other factors that also exert an influence.