How much should you worry?

Many teenagers would probably like it if their parents didn’t worry all the time. But the vast majority of them, in their heart of hearts, probably want someone to show that they care. Worrying yourself to death, on the other hand, doesn’t help anyone or anything. Try and turn your worries into something constructive instead.

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.

More to read about the same topic

Teenagers and alcohol

There are many considerations that can easily arise when your child becomes a teenager. But first and foremost: how do young people think about drinking themselves? And why is it more dangerous to drink alcohol in adolescence than as an adult?

Useful contacts and more info

It can sometimes be good to talk to someone who knows a bit more about teenagers and alcohol, or about anything else, for that matter.

If you want to do more

There’s a lot you can do to support and be there for teenagers. Maybe you can take part in night-time patrols, or make it easier for them to say “no”, or help promote a smarter approach to alcohol in some other way.

Other important topics to read about

Take responsibility

Maybe you sometimes feel pretty helpless as a parent. But there’s a lot you can do. As always showing that you care, that you’re there and that you are happy to listen. And often it’s important to be clear about what you expect of your teenager.

If parents are not around

Festivals, home parties and trips abroad are examples of situations where adults are rarely present. There are some pitfalls that you, as a parent, should be aware of and that you can teach your teenager how to handle.

Yes or no?

The clearer you communicate your expectations, the easier it is for your teenager to take a stand or do what you say. Also, think about what sort of message and values you’re conveying to your child.

The teenage years

The teenage years are a very special time in your child’s life. Teenagers are navigating the frontier lands between childhood and adulthood and there are a lot of new things to handle: school, friends, being allowed to stay out late, sex, parties and – not least – alcohol.

Teenager’s drinking habits

Not only is it illegal to buy alcohol for young people, but most adults think that alcohol is something teenagers should be avoiding. So where are teenagers getting their alcohol? How much do they drink? And what sort of problems do young people experience in connection to alcohol?

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