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Is parent influence possible or will my teenager drink and do drugs anyway?

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Updated November 14, 2010

Question: Is parent influence possible or will my teenager drink and do drugs anyway?
Parent influence over teenagers seems impossible at times. Does it really make a difference what I think about underage drinking or drug use – or will my teenage child do it anyway?
Answer:

A defeatist attitude will actually increase the likelihood that your teenage child will drink underage or use drugs.

Young people do take risks and are vulnerable to peer pressure. However, parent influence still has the most powerful impact on their decision making. The attitudes of parents, friends and others in the community have a great effect on whether your teenage child will drink underage or take drugs. Knowing that there will be immediate consequences also effects whether teenagers drink underage or take drugs.

The best way to help your child avoid alcohol and other drugs is through the positive use of discipline. It is not inevitable that your teenager will drink or use drugs, and you are the biggest influence over their behavior.

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