Teens: Mean now, free of alcohol & drugs later

I am not afraid to admit that I was quite the little pain in my mami's behind when I was a teenager. I was always a good student but I was also quite opinionated and definitely gave my share of attitude. Although my mom and I were always close, I remember having some pretty huge fights with them when I was younger. Let's just say, I was probably not so much fun for them back then.

Now I'm glad to say that, for all of my fighting then--and, ahem, sometimes now--it all served one grander purpose: it kept me off drugs! How, you ask? Well, let me tell you.


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New research from the University of Virginia has just discovered that teens who are taught to "argue effectively" (a.k.a. probably those that argue and fight and stand up for themselves, to their parents) are actually learning a very valuable life skill when being pains-in-the-you-know-what to their folks: how to better resist peer pressure when it comes to drinking and doing drugs.

Who knew?! Now I can tell my mom and dad that all of those teenage arguments were helping to keep me off drugs. I mean, considering that I was always a good teen who never went overboard in the drinking-and-drugs department (and DEFINITELY never gave in to all the stupid peer pressure in high school when every other person was getting crazy blackout drunk on the weekends and I didn't see the point), I'd say they did all right by letting me develop a "confident, reasonable manner" to be able to turn down those bad influences.

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Granted, this doesn't mean that you should start arguing and yelling at your kids all the time. In fact, the study's authors said that it's much more about parents modeling "good discussion practices" instead of hours-long screaming matches. But isn't it kind of nice to know that maybe your kids are actually learning a little something when it comes to those parental disagreements? I know my parents will be glad to hear this!

What do you think about teens staying off drugs thanks to arguing with their parents earlier on in their lives? Do you argue with your teens? Share with us in the comments below!

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Topics: discipline  how to parent  teenagers  teen issues