Having good communication with your teenager is hard, but so important. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that. It takes good communication to get them to trust you.
We’ve had several discussions on how to handle communication. We’ve gone back and forth and I think we are finally at a point where we can communicate, talk and have trust.
The best conversations I have with my kids are in the car. I used to drive them to school when they were younger. Looking back, I know that’s when I learned a lot about what they were thinking.
Over the years I’ve had to make coming to me a safe place to go when they need help. I’m not talking about tying a shoe or doing laundry for them, but when there’s peer pressure.
They have heard many things from me, including how to get away with not giving in or if it’s a hard situation how to get out of it. For example, if they are in a situation where they are being super pressured into drinking a beer, go to the bathroom, dump out the beer and fill it with water. Nobody will know.
If there ride has been drinking or doing drugs or if they themselves are too drunk to drive, I’ve told them to call me and I’ll come get them no questions asked.
One day my younger son said “I know you’ve said I can call and no questions asked, but I feel like you will get mad at me”. I had to think fast on my feet. How can I make him feel safe and trust me.
I told him “if that happens and I start giving you a hard time just remind me I said no questions asked. However, I will be so happy that you did the right thing and you won’t die or kill someone I’m sure I won’t be mad.”
The town I live in has lost a number of kids because someone got behind the wheel and the others got in the car with them. No parent should have to deal with that. Teach them well and offer them a no questions asked way out so they feel safe.
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