…and I need to talk to you about it.
Parent: I love you and I’m concerned about you.
Parent: It’s hard for me to start this conversation, because I never imagined I’d have to and also because you might be upset with me.
Teen: So don’t.
Parent: Believe me, I’d rather not! But I have a genuine worry about you and your alcohol use.
Parent: I’m pretty sure (or very sure) you are drinking. I’m going to ask you to come clean with me and tell me what’s going on.
Parent: Well, my job just got harder. I was hoping that you would be eye to eye with me, but I see I have to get “parental.”
Teen: Why? You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I sure don’t want you to.
Parent: I have to because it is my job to make sure you are safe. Your drinking puts you at risk.
Teen: For what?
Parent: For being in dangerous situations like driving a car, for having a lifetime substance abuse problem, not to mention that it is illegal.
Teen: So what?
Parent: You may remember that we have a “no drugs or underage alcohol” policy in this family.
Parent: You have broken our policy, and so there are consequences.
Teen: Like what?
Parent: We are rolling back your social life until we can be sure you are no longer using.
Teen: That is so stupid. You can’t.
Parent: We can and we will. That’s our responsibility: to make sure you are healthy and strong. We don’t believe you can be your best if you drink alcohol, so we are going to help you to stay away from it until we are sure you can help yourself.