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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1492
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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What do I do with teenagers (15-16) that are experimenting

Resolved Question:

What do I do with teenagers (15-16) that are experimenting with alcohol. They know our rule is no underage drinking but they continue to go down that road. Is this normal? What should I do. I have had many conversations about it to no avail.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
What are there consequences for drinking? Where do they drink and with who?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My daughter has been caught drinking at school and received a 3 day suspension. She received a month grounding off in three weeks on good behaviour.


Our consequence is she loses all of her priviledges as well as being grounded to the house (no phone, friends, computer, video games). Her life as she knows it ends and becomes very bland.


She has to get caught though for this to happen. She has become very secretive and sneaky and has someone buying booze for her but refuses to state who. Her friends have parents that allow their kids to drink and have "supervised drinking parties". How does a parent contend with this? I find I am sneaking around trying to find out what she is up to all the time. I don't know what else to do. I call parents when she says she is sleeping out to confirm they will be get the point.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
I hear your frustration. How does she respond to the groundings?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
She doesn't like it at all actually and says she will change her ways and tries to make things right for a week or two and then once she thinks she has my trust back, she screws up again. There is a girl at school that doesn't like her and is sending me emails with some insight on her behaviour also, which she blames some of her groundings on she says, "I hate her, she always gets me into trouble". Generally, she does what she should. I think given some comments, she is on the verge of a rebellion though..that is my biggest fear..
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I forgot to say where and with who. My understanding is with friends, while at "sleepovers". There was one incidence where she drank at a neighbours party where there were parents providing alcohol. GRR makes me so angry. Seems to be with her group of friends and she often says, "just about everyone I know drinks"
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
Ok I understand now. It can be resolved quit easily with a little work up front. First, she does not have good judgment in picking friends. Therefore, you limit the friends she hangs with unless they meet your high standards to be her friend. Obviously this means no parties or sleepovers at "friends" you don't approve of. Second, and from here on out, she needs to earn EVERYTHING. Any privilege from riding a bike to using the cell phone needs to be earned. Hod does she earn these things you might ask. Well you lay out your expectations of her and her behavior and lay out clear rules for her. If she does not follow any of these things then she is not allowed to have her privileges. It is going to take a long time to earn your trust and this is the only way I see it happening. She may put up a fight about this new approach but as long as you stick with it then she has no other choice but to follow along or else she is going to be very bored for a long time. Be consistent with it and stick to it and there you have your solution.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

So I heard through the grapevine that there is a BYOB party tomorrow night. Involves tents, boys, girls and booze. She does not know that I know and has claimed that she is "hanging out with her girlfriend" tomorrow night. I was thinking I might call this "girlfriends mom" today to confirm the truth and get a feeling for her beliefs when it comes to her children drinking. What do you think about that? I have a contract I drew up when she kept getting into trouble. It is very precise and very strict. I am thinking I may have to pull out those stops. This way we have something to point back to when she misbehaves and she knows what to expect. It outlines expectations, rules, consequences and has a place for signatures. HMMM maybe I was on the right track with that after all.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
Well first off, did she earn the right to go to the party? If she did, then you need to talk to the parents to see who will be supervising the party and who will be in attendance. If you disapprove anywhere along the line then she needs to stay home. You are on the right track and keep up the good work.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She doesn't know that I know about the party and she has stated she is staying at a friends place. How would she earn this? She has chores to do for her phone. Those are done, should I give her more to do? hmmm...

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
She earns it by following the rules. If she has followed the rules and will be where she says she will be then she can go. If she does go then I would definitely check up on her to make sure she is telling the truth.
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