Addressing Substance Use: Set Limits & Monitor Behavior
Last Updated: Friday April 7, 2023
(Partnership to End Addiction) Rules provide a concrete way to let your child understand what’s expected of him or her and to learn self-control. Don’t just assume they “know” you don’t want them to drink or do drugs. Teens and young adults don’t deal well with gray areas, so when they’re offered alcohol or drugs, you don’t want any confusion in their minds.
Establish Rules & Consequences
Rules are a signal to your child that you care about them and his or her safety. And consequences are way of helping — not hurting — them. A firm consequence, such as getting grounded or having to give up a fun privilege, is a reminder of what not to do in the future.
When you lay out rules and consequences, be very clear – make sure your child understands the limits you’ve set before there’s opportunity to do something wrong. One great way to do this is to actually write out your expectations for one another (being home before curfew, getting a ride home from a party if things get out of hand), and to jointly sign off on them.
Monitoring your child’s behavior is about keeping a closer eye and communicating regularly about their whereabouts, friends and more.
- Find subtle ways to “drop in” while his or her friends are at your house.
- Ask questions before they leave the house. Find out where they’re going, who will be there and what they’ll be doing.