THE DISCUSSION CAN WAIT
You may well have drunk too much, yourself, at some point in your life, and you know just how bad you can feel. When that happens, you don’t feel very big or strong. This is not the time to start a row.
Make sure that your teenager drinks some fluids and put a bucket beside their bed. Let them sleep and sober up before you talk about it.
"When you’re drunk, you often feel sad. And when you’re sad, you don’t want your parents to be angry. All that does is make you angry back at them".
Jenny, aged 16, Umeå
TELL THEM HOW YOU FEEL – BUT GO GENTLY
It’s better to describe your feelings than to worry yourself sick and get angry in silence. That’ll just make things worse. But try not to go in too hard. Your teenager is probably already feeling guilty and ashamed.
If you’re going to be able to talk about things, it’s important that you show you understand that everyone can make mistakes, not least in their teens. And the teens are a period when we’re particularly sensitive to how people view us and our personality. It’s better to say, “I can’t accept you drinking,” than “That was really stupid of you!”. It’s also easier to change something you do than who you are.
"My Mum says she’ll film me if I come home drunk, and then show me to make me feel ashamed".
Molly, aged 15, Göteborg