Too often, people think “no” means “yes, if you ask the right way.”

If your teen has had this problem turning down things she does not want to do, give her these suggestions:

• Give her personal reasons. “I’m working out to have a healthy body. I won’t screw that up with drugs.”

• Talk about what could happen. “Sorry, the last person caught skipping school failed math class for that quarter. I won’t risk it.”

• Be dismissive, not permissive. Your teen could simply roll her eyes, shake her head and walk away.

• Make a threat. “I said I don’t want to kiss you. Make another move and I’ll start screaming at the top of my lungs.”

• Blame you. “I won’t risk getting grounded.” “I won’t disappoint my mom.” “Sorry, my parents would freak out.”

• Suggest something else. “Nope, I’ve been saving this afternoon to see that new movie. Want to come?”

• Try a little pressure of her own. “No, I’m not smoking with you. What are you thinking about, anyway? Do you want everyone to think you’re a stoner?”

• Stay away. A friend who repeatedly tries to get your teen into trouble is no friend at all. Suggest that your teen consider avoiding the person, at least for the time being.

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