Q&A: How Can I Handle My Newly Vegetarian Teen Son?

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on ways to encourage and support your child's new activist convictions without sacrificing family mealtimes.

Q. My teenage son recently decided to become an animal rights activist and a vegetarian. While I'm proud of his convictions, he makes dinner a nightmare with his comments. How do I get him to rein it in?

A. If he's really serious about educating his family, how about telling him to cut out the remarks and instead cook a meal that's in line with his activism? He can research good vegetarian recipes, go to the market with you, and help you cook. That way he backs up his activism by doing something beyond complaining. Of course this doesn't mean the family has to become vegetarian, but you should all make a good faith effort to try his food and skip the obnoxious comments and eye rolling.

Originally published in the March 2007 issue of Family Circle magazine.