Keeping our Teens Drug and Alcohol Free

How to Keep Your Cool with Your Teen

We have all heard it before: Don’t let your emotions get the best of you when your teen’s emotions go into overdrive. Easier said than done, but here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Take a deep breath and speak in a calm, relaxed voice.  When you raise your voice, your teen is likely to “switch the shut off valve.”
  2. Try to come from the perspective of genuine concern rather than anger — “You haven’t been yourself lately…”
  3. Focus on the future rather than what has happened with your teen in the past — “Let’s work together to solve this and set some goals to stay on track…”
  4. Take criticisms of you as a parent as opportunities for discussion — “I hear what you’re saying, let’s dig deeper into this so we’re both on the same page…”

These tips and more are in the one page guide Have a Conversation, Not a Confrontation. And when the conversation veers toward concerns over marijuana, the Marijuana Talk Kit provides information on the new marijuana landscape and offers practical advice such as words to use and words to avoid when talking to your teen.


Both of these are excellent resources courtesy of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.