- Stephanie Schriock, CEO of Emily’s List – an organization that has elected more than 900 women into local, state and federal legislatures.
- Kalisha Dessources, Former Policy Advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls under the Obama Administration.
- Genevieve Angelson, actress best known for her role as Patti Robinson in Good Girls Revolt.
- Thuy Vu, five-time emmy award winning journalist.
Stealing alcohol from parents isn’t uncommon during the teenage years. But how to respond?
My 17 year old stole alcohol from our home to drink with her friends. This is the second time she’s done this. How should I respond?
Stealing Alcohol from Parents
Did you know that teenage girls (more so than teenage boys) are likely to engage in underage drinking? The most recent data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) found that 66 percent of female high school students had “ever drunk alcohol” compared to 62 percent of male high school students.
Researchers aren’t entirely sure why teenage girls tend to drink more than boys. Some hypothesize that since girls typically reach puberty sooner, they “might” engage in risky behavior (like drinking) earlier as well. There’s also evidence to suggest that teenage girls are more susceptible to alcohol-related messages. For example, advertisers target girls with bright colored magazine ads showing beautiful models in amazing clothing drinking and glamorizing the use of alcohol.
Now onto your question. Here’s what I would recommend:
1. Lock It Up
Remember, teenagers find it easy to access alcohol when it’s readily available in their homes. Research has shown that two out of three teenagers say it is easy to get alcohol from their homes without their parents knowing about it. As a precautionary step, I’d suggest keeping your liquor cabinet locked.
Also, brain science can be helpful here. At 17, your daughter’s frontal lobe — which is the region that handles restraint — hasn’t fully formed. We now know the human brain does not finish developing until sometime in our 20s. If your daughter can’t yet make the right choice about alcohol, then locking the cabinet helps her by ensuring the alcohol is out of her easy reach.
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Adaptability is the key for healthy teen self-esteem.
Adaptability has everything to do with being prepared for whatever life presents you with each and every day. For many of us we get caught up in daily routines. Daily routines provide comfort which is fine; however, when something changes in that routine for many teens it can be hard to handle. Once this occurs, they can feel disjointed, even depressed. Because of that one curveball, the rest of their day can seem ruined. This doesn’t have to happen. Be ready for whatever comes your way. Adapt to the change. How do you do this?
- By taking up different interests and different activities. Keep trying new things; and meet new people. Move beyond your comfort zone as often as possible.
- The teens I see with the best adaptability skills tend to have one thing in common. They work part-time or volunteer on a consistent basis. Why does this work? Because, you have to be ready for whatever comes your way when you work or volunteer. You get thrown multiple curve balls at the same time. You have to be responsible, on time, take directions well and execute. One day you may be answering the phones, another day you may be working on a computer screen while other days you may be interacting with customers. The unknown is good for you. You will be nervous in the beginning, but with time you build comfort in the process. This in turn builds confidence and self-esteem.
- Interacting with other adults and peers that aren’t your family, neighbors, friends, teammates or teachers tests your comfort zone and prepares you to become a stronger communicator down the road.
- Don’t stick to the same routine, challenge yourself and learn to roll with the punches. That way your whole day can’t be ruined by one problem or obstacle in your way. You get past it, adapt and move on.