The repetition reduces the pressure by giving you many chances to make your points.
Keep in mind, too, that your kid may want help finding a way to get off the hook when peers encourage him to chug a beer or try a joint, says Lerner.
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Also know that this generation of kids responds best when you warn them what a threat drugs and alcohol present to their health and future, according to Partnership research.So rather than say "Drinking is illegal" or "Using drugs is bad," try, "I love you, and I want you to be healthy and happy." Then drop a relevant fact — "Wine and beer can impair driving as much as hard liquor."Pasierb suggests a "water-torture approach" — many short conversations (less than five minutes each) from ages 9 to 19.But too often parents don't address these issues while kids are still at home."Many parents are insecure about their own financial knowledge, so they don't know how to frame their advice, or where to begin," says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Foundation.This reaction doesn't always bother me: When it comes to discussions about Sam's grass-mowing duties, for instance, I don't mind a certain amount of grousing.
But there are other conversations that I desperately want to go well, because I know his health, his safety, and his very future are on the line.Where drugs and drinking, money management, and sex are concerned, parents have to make sure kids really get — and understand — the information and the guidance they need to negotiate these thorny issues on their own. A whopping 82 percent of parents say it's important to talk to teens about sex, for example, but admit they have no clue when or how to do it, reported a 2007 survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.But here's an incentive to figure out a way to talk to your teen about condoms and keg parties: "Kids really want their parents to talk to them about issues like this," says Richard M. D., professor of child development at Tufts University and author of The Good Teen: Rescuing Adolescence from the Myths of the Storm and Stress Years.Thanks to my 17-year-old son, Sam — the parenting guinea pig at our house — my husband and I know how to shut down a heart-to-heart chat in seconds flat.All we have to say is, "Take out your earbuds, please; we need to talk" to immediately inspire Sam to (a) sigh, (b) roll his eyes, (c) scowl, or (d) do all of the above.They may not be curious about the stock market, but they're very interested in what it would take to get the latest-model i Pod.