Among the many nightmares that parents encounter is catching your adolescent child has been drinking. This might have happened when you smell vodka on their breath after coming home from an activity with friends Or perhaps it's actually catching them drinking at a party, or in your house. Sometimes another mother or father will phone you telling they caught your teenager drinking with theirs. It could even be the nightmare situation where you are notified by the police who have captured your kids drinking, or even worse drinkingand driving. When you discover that your child has been drinking alcohol it can elicit several diverse responses. Some teen parents are afraid and confused. "How could Tammy have begun drinking alcohol? I thought this was a nurturing home". Other individuals are angry. "I TOLD Will what would happen to him if I discovered him with alcohol!" And others experience denial. "It must be Tammy's friends. It's their fault!"

But irrespective of the reaction, once you find out that your teen is a drinker it's time to put being afraid, indignant, or pretending it isn't taking place away and start dealing with the issue. The 1st action is to come up with a plan. The plan is composed of three different parts: when, what and follow-through.


The when means that you deal with your teen once your plan is determined AND you are prepared to confront them. You don't want to deal with your teenager when your feelings are out of control. It is crucial you deal with them in a rational manner. The same goes for their state of mind. Don't deal with them if they are still drunk or high. Wait until they sleep it off. After you wait their emotional reaction will be something you can deal with.

So although you do want to wait for the "right time" to speak to your teen, you also don't want to wait too long. You need to plan on having your discussion with them within 24 hours of your discovery.


Next is to come up with your plan of the things you are going to say and do. As a general rule this should fall in the following categories:

  • Letting them know the rules and consequences of drinking. Specifically tell them the consequences they face today and the punishments they will receive if they violate the new rules. For example, if the punishment is confiscating the cell phone for 3 months, you might tell them the next violation will add an additional 6 months to the losing their phone.
  • Letting them know that they are going to be carefully monitored. Frequent calls, stricter curfew restrictions, a GPS tracker on their vehicle and drug testing are all possible ways to more strictly monitor their activities.
  • Let them know the help they are going to receive for their drinking. This may include individual or group counseling. This can include a minor in possession class or minor in consumption class. Or perhaps visiting your church's pastor. Make sure they know this part isn't a punishment but about understanding the problem and supporting learning how to avoid it in the future.
  • Telling them there is a hope that their punishments will end. Tell them that you love them and this isn't a permanent blemish on their record. If things go well you can once again have a happy close family.

Follow Through

Finally, you need to strategize your follow-though. What I mean is to ensure everything you tell your teen is something you are going to really do. Make sure you follow through on your steps once you tell them. And if you need your own help... perhaps therapy such as an alcohol class can be helpful. Parents require support to handle difficult situations such as these.

Author's Bio: 

Mike Miller is the Education Director at Online Alcohol Class, a website specializing on alcohol awareness classes and minor in possession classes. You can visit his site at