No one ever said parenting would be easy.

When children hit the teenage years, the challenges are great. There are more significant threats that can affect their health and safety, like drugs and alcohol. And, unfortunately, helpful and reliable resources are scarce. So when you are nervously sitting on your couch at 1 a.m. waiting for your 17 year old to come home, please know that you are not alone.

Most parents go through this angst. One very common complaint from parents is, “We didn’t know where to go for help” or “We were too ashamed to ask.” An Internet search can provide thousands of websites offering parenting advice, but the information across these sites is not consistent or consistently good. So how do you know what advice to follow? Despite how powerless you may feel, we want to encourage you:

Don’t give up on your teenager or your power as a parent.

The bottom line is that study after study shows parents have the most influence over their children’s decision to drink—or not.
It’s critical you exercise this influence as parents.

Here are 6 ways to help you reduce the chance that your teenage child will drink, use drugs or engage in other risky behavior.

  1. Build a Warm & Supportive Relationship with Your Child
  2. Be a Good Role Model When It Comes To Drinking, Taking Medicine & Handling Stress
  3. Know Your Child’s Risk Level
  4. Know Your Child’s Friends
  5. Monitor, Supervise & Set Boundaries
  6. Have Ongoing Conversations & Provide Information About Drugs & Alcohol
    More from the Partnerships Component Tool


percent of 8th graders who have tried alcohol
percent of 8th graders say it's easy to get alcohol
percent of youth say parents are their #1 influence