Remind your teenager that it's OK to say no to things they don't want to do. It can be hard to be assertive sometimes, particularly in a group of friends. Positive Choices' factsheet, Making Choices, has tips on being assertive and how teenagers can handle situations in which they might feel pressured to drink alcohol or take drugs.
You may want to remind your teen that although it is sometimes portrayed differently, most young people do not use illicit drugs, and an increasing number of teens are abstaining from alcohol use. See our factsheet How many young Australians use illegal drugs?
It can also help to discuss 'ways out' with your child. For example, if your child is not having a good time at schoolies, let them know you don't mind being the "bad parent" asking them to come home if they feel the need to save face in front of their friends.
Sexual peer pressure
It’s also very important your teenager understands issues relating to consent and safe sex. Remind your teenager that:
- If they are being pressured to have sex they have the right to say no
- They also cannot pressure someone else to have sex with them
- Intoxication leads to poor decision-making and increased risk-taking, and your teenager should not make decisions about these issues when they are intoxicated. Ask them to think about their boundaries before they leave for schoolies, as well as how they will avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections if they are planning to have sex.
Remind your teenager that real romantic relationships last well beyond schoolies, and young people should not feel the need to rush any relationships with someone they have just met.
Queensland Government has a useful information page for your teenager about sexual health.