Teenagers and risky behaviour
It’s normal for children of any age to feel upset and afraid if their parents separate. Try to understand that your child may struggle to cope with some of the more negative feelings of anger and loss.
Children in general could get involved with risky behaviour, but teenagers are more likely to engage with drug and alcohol misuse due to their age and peer pressure. Keeping an eye on your teenager’s mental health is vital in making sure that they don’t get caught up in risky behaviour as a result of your separation.
Teenage health is always an important factor for parents to consider. To help you get a grip on your teenager’s health, here are a few things to remember.
- More children and young people misuse alcohol and illegal drugs every year.
- This misuse of substances can lead to serious consequences.
- Changes to family life can lead to your child or teenager feeling bad and this may affect their mental health. They, like many adults, may turn to drugs and alcohol in difficult times.
- Let your child or teenager’s school know about the separation. They can keep an eye out for any changes in behaviour and let you know how they are getting on.
- Remember your child’s school nursing service can help.
Act now to protect your child or teenager’s mental health and safety
Worried about your child or teenager’s mental health and how they are coping with the separation? Suspect they are taking risks? Act now – talk to your GP, school nurse, or other trusted health professionals for advice.
Where can I go next?
Family Lives - Your teen and drugs/alcohol
A series of articles and blogs about drug and alcohol misuse amongst teenagers, including how to talk to teenagers about drug misuse, from Family Lives, a national charity providing help and support in all aspects of family life.
FRANK - Advice for parents and carers
If you're worried about a child, this advice on talking to children about drugs may be useful.
Mentor - for parents and carers
Get the tips and advice you need from Mentor, which aims to protect children from alcohol and drugs.