The military has a traditional image as a hard fighting, hard drinking bunch. While everyone understands that this is pretty much just a Hollywood cliche, there are still too many cases of substance abuse in our armed forces.
This is certainly a challenge for parents raising a teenager in the military. Your first line of defence is to always keep channels open with your teenager(s). If they feel comfortable telling you about the stress and peer pressure they feel to use recreational and addictive substances you in turn can assure them that those pressures can be counteracted without becoming totally ‘uncool’.
Of course, if you yourself use tobacco, alcohol, or other recreational substances, you’ve got a tough row to hoe when it comes to convincing your teenager not to experiment. You have an obligation to your children to discontinue such unhealthy practices. At least show them you are trying to do so.
No matter what, it’s always going to be your example that is strongest in their minds and memories as they struggle to establish themselves in this challenging world we live in