Don’t go behind people’s backs
If your teenager tells you something about a friend and you don’t think it’s right to keep quiet about it, you have to explain why you feel that way. It’s not about telling tales – it’s about caring what happens. Your teenager has chosen to tell you, so they’re probably hoping, that you’ll intervene. Let your son or daughter know what you’re intending to do, so that he or she doesn’t feel that you’re breaking their confidence.
My friends drink a lot when I'm out with them because they know I'll take care of them when they're drunk and throwing up, and stuff.
Nadia, aged 16, Gothenburg
Don’t take on the role of guidance officer all by yourself
Get help from other adults. First and foremost, you need to get in touch with the teenager in question’s parents. If they don’t address the situation, you can always contact the school’s guidance officer or the social services. The important thing is that someone reacts quickly. No teenager should have to suffer without any adult caring what happens.
Why should I tell my parents about things that involve my friends? They're not my parents friends, after all.
Hannes, aged 16, Umeå
Talk to other sensible people
If something’s happened, there are numerous organisations that are used to talking to both teenagers and their parents about all sorts of issues and concerns. You’ll find some suggestions here. Or maybe you know someone who has had a similar experience, that you could talk to.