When a parent suspects teen marijuana or alcohol use

Watch Michael J. Bradley, EdD's video on When a parent suspects teen marijuana or alcohol use...
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When a parent suspects teen marijuana or alcohol use

When you think your child is involved with alcohol or marijuana? The first thing to do is nothing. Go outside, walk into the garage, calm yourself down. now is the time for the most controlled effective parenting you can master, cause you are likely angry, upset, feel betrayed, terrified, take it all personally and in fact most kids are going to experiment. Unfortunately, with marijuana and alcohol, so now is not the time to go crazy on them. Once you are in control of yourself, you sit down with them. If they are inebriated, if they high or drunk be sure they are safe first of all, a lot of kids too much alcohol these days and they can be unsafe. So if you have any doubts, go to the emergency room. If it's a couple of beers, do like the courts do say, "I know you are drinking, we'll talk tomorrow". Don't parent at 1 AM, it does not work out, so your kid lies in bed all night wondering what the heck are they going to say the next day. It is also a great way to crank up the pressure on her and you'll be much smarter the next day. When you sit down with your child, your question should be, "Tell me what you learn"? She is waiting to get grounded, be punished, you say "Tell me what you learn, you might get cold". She might say "It was stupid actually Mom, the stuff taste horrible cause we are puking other's fights, Johnny jumps on Suzy, we have to pull him off her, It was nuts, I don't get it". Parents ask what the inappropriate punishment, there isn't any. Punishment don;t work, the literature is real clear about that, if you strike gold and the kids say something like that, you give her a hug say "Thank you for telling me that" and she says "Oh, were done, I can go out"? and say "but there's another point what do we do if it happens again"? she'll say "It will never happen again" you'll say "Glad to hear that". But if it does, what is your ground mate? That's a punishment that will work for good. "I tell you what sweetie, if it happens again can you and I agree your are not ready for the level of freedom to be out of this sleepovers". "You mean I can't go to sleepovers"? " Oh sure you can, you can have them at our house" frightfully the kids will say, "but nobody will come to our house" "Why is that sweetheart"? Encourage her to have friends in a controlled environment, you say we are going to step down the ways sleepovers or hanging out in the park for a couple of months and then we will try it again, cause you are smart, you know how to do things, and I know you are going to figure this out sweetie to make better choices, but I love you, I love you too much to take this risks that can hurt you terribly in the end so that's the way it is going to be.

Watch Michael J. Bradley, EdD's video on When a parent suspects teen marijuana or alcohol use...


Expert Bio

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Michael J. Bradley, EdD

Psychologist, Author & Speaker

Michael J. Bradley, EdD, award-winning author, has counseled adolescents and their parents for over 30 years and currently has a private practice in suburban Philadelphia. As a recognized specialist in adolescent behavior and parenting, Dr. Bradley is in demand as a speaker and facilitator for mental health professionals, educators, and parenting groups. He has appeared on over 400 radio and television shows, including CNN, The Today Show and Good Morning, America, and has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers such as USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Parents Magazine. His website forum is a great source of advice and encouragement to parents.

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