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Doherty to parents of teens: tough love required

DohertyB2002.jpgProfessor Bill Doherty, of the Department of Family Social Science, offered advice to parents of teens, following a deadly weekend on Minnesota roads that claimed six young lives. Speaking to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Doherty cautions against "wishy-washy" parenting, stating that parents must establish firm expectations of teens, putting parenting duties ahead of friendship with their children.

"Many parents want to be buddies with their kids and don't want to come down too hard on them," Doherty said. "And many parents have this idea, 'Well, the kids are going to use alcohol anyway so why be the heavy, why talk about it that much?' What we know from the research is that teens who believe their parents are firmly against them drinking are less apt to drink. Our kids carry us in their brain and that's why [you need] a firm hand, that you're too young to drink and it's not acceptable to me as your parent that you drink at all, let alone drink and drive."

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