3 Warning Signs That Your Teenager is Drinking

Even the best kids can succumb to peer pressure. You raised your teen right, but you can’t be with them all of the time. They have new freedoms, new friends, and new interests. And while you want your teen to grow, you also need to set boundaries. So how can you be sure that your teen is not being pressured into making a mistake, like drinking or doing drugs?

Hi, I am attorney Jill Ruane, and I have been working with juvenile defense cases for over a decade. As a parent of four and as an attorney who works with kids, I know the drinking warning signs to watch out for. On this page, I will explain three ways that you can determine if your teenager is drinking with their new friends.

Tip #1: Check Social Media

Teenagers love to post what they are up to on social media. And while teens are fairly savvy when it comes to keeping things on social media away from their parents, it only takes one slip up to reveal what your teen is really up to. Even if you don’t see any posts containing alcohol or drugs, watch out for social media posts that catch your teen in a lie. Posts that prove your teen was not where they told you they would be could mean that they were engaging in behavior that you would not approve of. 

Tip #2: Watch Out for Excessive Mood Swings

Of course, teenagers are notoriously moody, so it can be difficult to tell if your teen had an outburst due to normal teenage hormones or because they have been drinking. But keep your eye on your teen and how their mood changes. If you are noticing sudden and extreme mood swings, lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed, or that they are always feeling sick or tired, this could mean that they have an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

Tip #3: Sudden Drop in Grades

Any sudden changes in your teen could mean that something is wrong. A sudden drop in grades could be a tell-tale sign that your teen is focusing too much on behavior that you don’t want them to engage in. 

If you notice any of the warning signs listed here, it is time to have a talk with your teenager about alcohol. I will discuss how to do this in my next article. In the meantime, share this page with you parent friends so that they can keep their teens safe. You can also contact my office for assistance with your teen’s drinking.