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Now that my son is 12, it doesn't seem to make any difference what I say or do.  He only listens to his friends.  I guess this is just the way it's going to be for the next several years.  Should I just step back and not waste my breath?

Answer:

It may seem like everything you say is like blowing in the wind - but it's not.  Take heart!  Parents are, in fact, very influential.

A recent study by the Research Institute on Addictions reveals what many of us know from our own experience -- that both adolescent girls and adolescent boys whose parents supervise their friendships and activities are less likely to engage in problem behaviors, including drinking, and that this is true regardless of race or income level.  If you want to read more, try "Making a Difference" for reference to the study and some great ideas about how to build the relationship that will best protect your child.

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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy