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Suggestions For Having ‘The Talk’ During Prom Season

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When parents bring up topics like sex, drugs and alcohol, teens can get uncomfortable and feel attacked. Try an approach that is more about listening and less about preaching, to get through to your child. (credit: iStockphoto)

When parents bring up topics like sex, drugs and alcohol, teens can get uncomfortable and feel attacked. Try an approach that is more about listening and less about preaching, to get through to your child. (credit: iStockphoto)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – It is prom-season — the time of the year when teens hit the malls in search of the perfect dress or tuxedo. It is also that time when parents search for the perfect words to talk to their kids about sex, alcohol and unhealthy behaviors.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke live to Dr. Nikki Sulaica, Child and Adolescent Psychologist at Henry Ford. Her advice for parents is avoid the lectures and ask questions.

“If you’ve got a concern that there’s going to be alcohol at a pre- or post-party, you’ve got to ask them what they think. You know, kind of asking your child something like, ‘hey, I’m kind of nervous about this party going on, do you think there’s going to be alcohol or drinking there,’ and then wait for a response,” Sulaica said.

Dr. Sulaica added that sometimes parents can do too much talking and kids don’t do enough.

“Asking them if they have specific concerns, like if the child is worried about encountering any of those situations and just doing some basic guidance, you know, kind of a can-do message, saying ‘I know you’re going to make good choices and if you run into any of these situation I’m always here to help you,'” Sulaica said.

Dr. Sulaica said parents should set aside specific times to talk with their kids — like maybe a lunch date when there are no distractions, especially cell phones.

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