Sex is often presented as a casual activity without risk or consequences.Conventional wisdom holds that the messages young viewers absorb from television promote sexual activity in this group.
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If your teen has started to act out and possibly use drugs, it can be tempting to blame their friends.
“Even before they start to use drugs, kids will start to gravitate toward other kids who have a favorable attitude about using,” says Joseph Lee, MD, spokesman for the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Start with your child's doctor or a counselor trained in this area. Parents tend to swing between anger and guilt when they think their child is using, Lee says. If you're very angry, your child may not talk to you.
If you feel guilty, you could be manipulated into being too lenient.
“You want to help them think through things so they develop that skill,” Pating says. Make sure your teen knows that it's safe for them to come to you.
For instance, if they used alcohol or other drugs at a party, you want them to be able to call you for a safe ride home, instead of driving.
Don't label them "bad." "If your child starts to use, it’s not that he or she is a good kid or a bad kid," Pasierb says.
"It’s a bad set of decisions." Pating's advice: "Let your child know you expect that he will not use drugs, but understand that he is human." For instance, if your teen tells you he drank at a party, talk with him about why he made that decision.
A total of 1,762 adolescents were asked about their sexual experiences and also their televisionviewing habits and, one year later, were surveyed again.