Tell them how worried you were
Showing that you care or talking about your feelings with your children is never ridiculous or stupid. It must be made clear to your teenager that you get very worried when they drink alcohol or come home late, for example.
Establish the consequences of breaking the rules
Parents and teenagers alike tend to feel better if they’ve agreed in advance what the consequences will be if they break the rules. Why not have an open discussion about what will happen if he or she comes home late, for example. It’s good if it feels like a mutual agreement.
If you get punished, you just get annoyed and angry. You don't learn anything from it.
Melissa, aged 14, Örebro
Talk about it together
If your teenager comes home late and you haven’t already decided on the consequences, then you really do need to say something. If you say nothing and simply impose a punishment, there’s a risk that your teenager will close themselves off and that the punishment will have the opposite effect of what you intended. Talk to your teenager about what he or she thinks is a reasonable consequence and about what you both can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Avoid empty threats
Sometimes, your patience runs out and you simply can’t handle a talk right now. When this happens, it’s very easy to simply impose a punishment without having really thought about it. And you might regret that when you’ve calmed down a bit. Or you might even forget about what you said in the heat of the moment and it becomes an empty threat, rather than something that enables the teenager to learn from their mistake. Using empty threats regularly might just lead to a less respectful relationship between you as a parent and your teenager. So try and stand by what you’ve said and what you’ve agreed. If you’ve said something in haste and now regret it, then say so. The most important thing is that you talk about it.