My Teen Is Breaking Rules - What Can I Do?

My Teen Is Breaking Rules - What Can I Do?

We recently moved, and my 16-year-old daughter started at a new school. Lately, she's been ignoring her curfew, and last weekend I smelled alcohol on her breath. What should I do?
- Joe

The best thing you can do is to talk to your daughter openly about your concerns. Be blunt, honest, and understanding — and reassure her that you want to know what's going on with her because you care. Discuss your expectations for her, and what the consequences will be if she breaks the rules. Many teens act like they don't need attention from their parents and family, but actually they do.

While one or two behavior glitches can be expected with a major life change, persistent changes in your daughter's behavior, attitude, or interests may mean something more is going on. Alcohol and/or drug use are often linked to depression or to difficult life changes like moving or going through a rough breakup.

If you're still concerned about your daughter's behavior, talk to her doctor or a counselor for advice.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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Related Resources
OrganizationNational Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) This organization provides education, information, and help in the fight against alcohol and other drug addictions. Call: (800) NCA-CALL
OrganizationNational Mental Health Association (NMHA) NMHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans through advocacy, education, research, and service.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) AACAP offers up-to-date information on child and adolescent development and issues.
OrganizationAmerican Association for Marriage and Family Therapists This organization provides listings of marriage and family therapists nationwide.
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