Yes or no?

Being a parent often means facing tricky decisions. You want to show your child that you trust them, but at the same time, you don’t want them to get into trouble. No one else can tell you where you should draw the line for your teenager. You’re the one who has to decide what is OK and not OK in different situations.


Listen to yourself and trust your opinions. As a parent, you have the right to decide. The more clearly you show your teenager what you expect, the easier it is for your teenager to accept it.

If you say ”No” to something, explain why you’re doing so. It’s not about your child deciding whether you’re right or wrong: it’s about helping them understand that you’re not saying “No” just for the sake of saying it.

"If your parents just say OK all the time, they don’t really care".

Elina, aged 15, Örebro


Teenagers are busy developing their own opinions, so it’s important that they know what their parents think. The best thing you can do is to stand by what you believe and tell them why you want things to be a particular way. Over and over again, if necessary. ‘

It’s not the end of the world if you fall out in the heat of the moment. It can sometimes be good to get things off your chest and it’s also a way for teenagers to understand where you draw the line.

Två tonåringar vid skolskåp
Foto: Pablo Frisk

"Getting whatever you want all the time doesn’t make you happier. You have to long for some things, too".

Eddie, aged 15, Umeå


If your teenager asks you something and you’re not really certain what you really think, you can try saying that you’d like to think about that before answering. This shows your child that you’re taking their question seriously and, at the same time, that it isn’t always easy taking a stand on different issues.

It’s sometimes a good idea to talk it over with someone else too – maybe another parent – in order to gain some perspective.


Letting things slide doesn’t make you a nicer parent. Teenagers don’t need another friend: they need an adult they can rely on.

More to read about the same topic

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

When parents are not around

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