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Aug 2016

Mental And Health Effects Of Underage Drinking

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Increasing consumption of alcoholic beverages amongst children- especially teenagers and adolescents is an alarming new trend that has followed. However, for the short- term pleasure, these adolescents do not realise the long- term problems they can encounter after excessive consumption of such beverages over time. It has disturbing effects on your mental, social and physical health which might affect them even as an adult. Therefore, to make young people aware of the vices of underage drinking, here are some mental and physical effects of drinking from an early age.

According to a study by the Chief medical officers of England, young people who misuse alcohol and other drugs are likely to encounter negative health and social problems as adults as they haven’t matured their mental and physical being.

Negative physical health effects

While vomiting, appetite changes and nausea are the short term health problems, young people encounter with alcohol consumption, excessive intake of alcohol can also have disastrous long- term and chronic effects.

  • Brain development problems
    Frequent and prolonged usage of alcohol consumption in your youth can also have an effect on the overall brain development. Since brain is still developing during the adolescent years, impulsive alcohol intake can hinder its growth.
  • Liver effects
    Liver problems often occur by heavy drinking over a long span of time. However, if this habit is taken in from a young age, then you can suffer from chronic liver damages or even failure at a very young age.
  • Growth and endocrine effects
    Puberty is often associated with growth and hormonal development within both males and females. Consuming alcohol during these years of rapid growth and development can slow down the process or inhibit it. Disbalance can have also effect growth on organ, muscle and bone growth.

Negative Mental health effects

Alcohol has obvious physical consequences, especially in the growing age. But it can also effect a child’s mental health by causing behavioural and learning problems. Since alcohol is a depressant, it can cause major mood problems. Moreover, it can affect the academic and cognitive part of life as it can cause low concentration, laziness, reckless and often deviant behaviour.

  • Depression and anxiety
    A lot of teenagers believe that drinking can help their mood swings or depression- which is often a regular occurrence during the growing years. Adolescents are overwhelmed by physical and lifestyle changes and seek for short- term relaxers like alcohol. However, alcohol can cause further depression and even anxiety if it is consumed regularly creating more problems during youth which can be extended in their adulthood.
  • Mood disorders
    Alcohol is also seen as an indication of many psychological disorders like depression, OCD, bipolar or even eating problems. They can inhibit an individual’s rationale and result in ill- planned decisions which can affect young people their entire lives.

Drinking at a young age may seem as an exciting idea because it might be something your friends do or you might think it will help with your stress. However, waiting for the right age and time is the right option. Don’t lose out on your youth by drinking!

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May 2016


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Teenage is never easy.

For Anyone.

If you’re a family with a teenager, chances are you’re in much trouble already. There might be a constant looming chaos at home about a neighbour’s dog (or parking space), a possible car wreck, teachers’ notices and video games. That’s the drill with most kids and is to be considered natural. They’re just growing up. Teenage is not easy for the parents either. It is all happening for the first time and no habit or argument seems to have a logical head or tail. All this may actually turn you into a parent who lives in a constant ‘denial’ of sorts and insists on saying “not my kid!” from the drop of a hat to spotting a flying saucer. In other words, some of us may come to blindly believe and take the role of orthodox parents. Some others may fall in the ‘chill parents’ category. The truth is, regardless of whatever type, parents will have little influence on their teenagers unless it is by example or a talk.

Especially when it comes to topics like drinking alcohol and when and how one should be drinking, the teenage brain tends to turn itself off.

Here are some insights that could help you understand when you’re child is prone to drinking.

  1. A major change in social life may nudge them to try a drink or two. This may happen when they graduate from school to college, or even while they are still in school but widening their friend’s circle. Some kids start drinking when they get their first ride. A car or a bike makes them have more control over their time and lives and that may lead them to experiment with more ‘fun’ things.
  2. A history of conduct problems and a group of friends with deviant behaviour may encourage teenagers into feeling one-more-thing like alcohol would not be an objectionable thing. Drinking would be just another nasty thing they love to do!
  3. Some kids find their way to alcohol trying to escape the emotional bitterness that comes to them with age. Peer pressure, stress, lack of family support may lead them to feel emotionally empty and they might stray towards a beer store trying to find their way out their troubles.

A good way to keep your children from any bad habit is by setting an example. Every teenager has a role model that they admire and to them at their age, the role model seems to give purpose and passion to their life. Talking to your child or setting a good example will keep them away from harmful indulgence and consequent trouble.

  1. Don’t be excessive. That means not drinking too much too often. This may sound like a difficult thing to do – but an effective way to stop your kids from partying way too much is by you not being a party animal yourself.
  2. Stay away from alcohol in high-risk situations. This includes not driving after drinking, keeping away from the pool and not diving after having alcohol.

The simplest mantra is to make efforts to be friends with the kids and try to be involved in their lives. Of course, they need their space to grow but at the end of the day, but they need love and care as always!

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Mar 2016

Stuff Kids Do Behind Your Back

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Human nature keeps on changing as people develop. From the day a child is born to the day he becomes an adult, the body and mind goes through a lot of changes. As soon as a child hits puberty you will start noticing sudden change in his behaviour and this can be very difficult to understand or even deal with. A child goes through many physical and mental changes from the age of 11 till he/she becomes an adult. Nurturing children during this time is very important as the behavioural changes will define how their future is going to be. This change is due to few chemicals in our body called hormones. It could be a frustrating job dealing with children during this period of change as children would want to be more independent. They will learn how the world works and would spend more time with their friends then their parents.

Kids will experience new things and try to figure out how they want to live their life. At this point of time, they will do all kind of crazy things and can also do some stuff that could be bad for them. Parents have to be very open minded and should learn assertive approach of helping their kids to walk on the right path. There are a lot of things a kid could be doing behind you back and we will tell you what are the most common things they do.

  • It’s a Secret: Kids are very good at hiding stuff from parents. If they are doing something that they think can upset you then they won’t share it with you. They may even have friends that you don’t know about who might be a good or a bad influence on your kid but you will never know about it until you become more open minded and more involved in your kids life.


  • They won’t understand: Your kid could be going through some stuff that is affecting them emotionally like a fight with a friend or getting rejected by the girl they liked. Parents should not take these things lightly because the rising rate of hormones could impact your child’s psychological condition and you should deal it with patience and by understanding how important it is for your kids.


  • Watch me – Watch me: A child desires attention without even knowing it. They cross all the boundaries to seek attention of their friends or people in their family. They might start smoking and drinking just to act like grown-ups or being cool amongst all their friends and classmates. It is a parent’s role to pay attention to what their child is doing and not the child’s responsibility to seek their attention.


  • Underage drinking: There could be a number of reasons for a kid leaning towards drinking. Kids are very observant and are influenced easily by the things they observe. Domestic clashes between parents, watching their parents drink, peer pressure could lead them towards drinking alcohol.


Only a parent or guardian could hold a child’s hand and lead them towards the path of development. You let them out of your sight for one moment and you will find them walking towards the unknown. It might be good, it might be bad but you’ll never know until you’ll walk beside them.

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Jan 2016

Why Underage Drinking Is A Cardinal Sin

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First things first, even if it might not be a cardinal sin which we’re going to get to later, it definitely is a legal sin. One will always be traversing thin lines doing something illegal. Even if we stop with the practicality, there’s a question of drinking responsibly. Are teenagers known to drink responsibly? I think we all know the answer to that.

There’s a reason why there’s an age limit for such things. One needs to have that kind of maturity, that experience, that balanced head to perform these acts diligently. You might be able to have a huge brain which can process things faster than everybody else, but you can’t buy experience can you? The way with which to handle yourself in public and the all important power of resistance.

Peer Pressure

No need to roll your eyes with the ‘here it goes again’ look because peer pressure is definitely there and how. Its the disease which every single teenager suffers no matter how sought after one is. In their grand lives, there must’ve been one single tiny moment when they would’ve succumbed to the cries of ‘let’s do it bro’. And that’s all what it takes to take the plunge. There’s a reason why we never talk about peer pressure in the adults. Because there are some things which only age can teach you.

Resistance Vs Innocence

These are the 2 major parameters which drive underage drinking. Even if you’re resistive enough, innocence might take you over. Because of the innocence factor in their tender years, some kids get to realize the world as their oyster and that they’re free to do and get away with anything. Due to this, students and teenagers across the globe get the power of accessibility. And with that, you’re nearly halfway there.

Whenever you do feel indulging in underage drinking, ask yourself?

  • What will my parents think about it?
  • What will my aunt think about it if she sees me?
  • What if my breath smells when I go home?
  • Can I stop when the right time comes?
  • Do I even know when I have to stop?
  • If things go south, will the people around take good care of me?
  • Is it good for my health?
  • Am I setting a good example for my younger siblings?

More often than not, you’ll come right on track once you answer these questions to yourself honestly.

Worth The Wait

We can tell you from experience, that when you do hit the legalized age you would feel that it was worth the wait. At least you won’t have the fear of getting caught by a big bellied policeman or by your uncle who just loves to bring you down in front of your parents. Also, the fact that you’ll be able to take care of yourself better and responsibly is just the icing on the cherry. Win-win situation if you think about it. Which side are you on?

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Jan 2016

Are parents responsible for underage drinking?

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When was the last time you saw your precious little daughter and realized that she isn’t your innocent yes-dad kid anymore? Or the last time when your cool son came home drunk after his school got over? In such situations, everything else becomes mute and more often than not, parents start questioning their upbringing and the fact they weren’t that good as parents.

Don’t Undermine Your Upbringing

Truth be told, this is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself. You can’t possibly have any direct control over your teenagers in college hours or school hours for that matter. When they’re not in your proximity, in all practicality they have the world as their oyster. They can indulge in anything and everything possibly.

Stop blaming yourselves and take it on the chin! Find a way to make it better, talk to them, tell them how underage drinking is bad and should be avoided. Tell them about the nasty repercussions and tell them your stories so that they can relate better. A healthy conversation never hurt anybody!

Promoting Underage Drinking Indirectly

See there are factors out there which might point to the fact that parents can promote underage drinking indirectly:

  • By being too lenient
  • By being too liberal
  • By giving their kids all the freedom they need
  • By giving them bundles of money regularly

All these reasons and much more can lead to them indulging in things which they shouldn’t indulge in.
But at the end of the day, the choice is theirs and theirs entirely. Parents are nowhere close to being responsible for their teenagers drinking habits. Unless of course they’re actually promoting it and asking them to do so, which is almost never the case in our proud and respectable Indian families.

Choose Wisely

Adolescents are deemed as adolescents for a reason! They can’t function logically and have the inability to take logical and practical decisions which will benefit their future. At least that is what the trends suggest! Hence, they need to be nurtured with much care and need to be taught these lessons wisely. As far as adults are concerned i.e. those who are above 18, they do have the power of reasoning on their hands. Given their age is still tender and the fact that their careers haven’t shaped up yet, they should be big enough to take wise decisions. Excuses don’t work when you’re that old.

When Parents Drink In Front Of Their Kids

In a way, this does influence kids to a great extent. Parents are example setters, aren’t they? Hence, it directly influences them to at least try it. But then, this can be easily avoided with the help of some secrecy and discreetness on your part and a little thing known as ‘Common Sense’.

After all that has been said and done, one thing is quite clear – parents are not responsible for underage drinking. Parents are parents, they are our only lifelong well wishers on this planet.

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Jan 2016

How Can Underage Drinking Be Prevented?

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Parents often feel helpless about their children and alcohol. You might feel there is little you can do to prevent them from experimenting with alcohol underage or getting pulled into drinking unwisely. But countless studies have shown that parents have significant influence over the attitude and relationship their child develops with alcohol. So the truth is, there is plenty you can do.

What helps prevent early drinking?
– Having resilience and self-esteem: By always loving the person even when we’re not happy about their behaviour. By letting them fail and helping them learn they can overcome difficulties. By praising them when they do try hard and encouraging them to do their best, whatever. By having rules and routines, a ‘can do’ attitude and by encouraging strong connections with family and friends and by listening to and respecting them. When children see themselves as capable of solving problems, they have resilience and good self-esteem.
– Look at your own approach to alcohol: The truth is children do not do as we say – they do as we do. If you want to prevent your children drinking underage the first thing you have to do is look at your own drinking and possibly make changes. If you regularly drink above the lower risk guidelines (two-three units a day for women and three-four units a day for men) it isn’t good for you, and is a bad example to them. It’s not just the amount, either. If you reach for alcohol to calm you down when upset; to relieve stress; to celebrate success, then they may get the message that alcohol is the answer to everything. Hearing things like “What a day I need a drink!” or “Let’s get the beers in, it’s time for the footie” confirms in their minds that drinking is just what you do, regardless of occasion.

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Jan 2016

What are the risks?

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Young people who drink are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, to be involved in alcohol-related traffic accidents, and to have depression and anxiety. Other risky behaviours are also linked to early drinking. Young people who start using alcohol before age 21 are more likely to:

Liver Damage

Think only alcoholics get liver damage? Not true.

Young people who drink regularly are equally at risk and start to damage their livers without realising.

Trouble is, the warning signs only show after a few years.

Mental Health

Alcohol doesn’t just affect young people physically.

Evidence points to alcohol misuse and mental disorders being closely related (8).

In other words, young people who drink excessively may be more likely to also have disturbed mental health, even self-harm.

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Jan 2016

How to talk to your child?

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From when your child turns 12 years old until they reach about 24 years their brain is forming all the parts needed for learning, memory, planning, emotional stability, and thinking. Alcohol can disrupt this. Your child trusts you and relies on you for information and advice. Research shows that they believe that you should teach them about alcohol.
If you make it clear that their questions are welcome and you try to answer them, they’ll keep coming back. You don’t have to cover everything at once; you’re more likely to have a greater impact on your child’s decisions about drinking if you have a number of chats. Think of this as part of an on-going conversation.
Discuss the issues
Keep the lines of communication open with your kids. Discuss the fact that not everyone drinks. Be aware that young people are likely to have a favourable perception of the social benefits of alcohol – they seek to drink believing it will help them fit in, and need to know that they can fit in without drinking alcohol.
TIP: Highlight that not drinking is the norm for young people. Two-thirds of 12-15 year olds have never had a drink of alcohol. Let older teens know that they are not alone, with one in five 16-17 year olds sharing in their decision to not drink.
Educate by example
Be a positive role model, use alcohol responsibly. KIDS ABSORB YOUR DRINKING, so watch your own alcohol consumption and remember that there is the option of not drinking alcohol at all. If alcohol does play a role in your family life, talk to your child about how you use alcohol responsibly and the rules and boundaries you follow.
TIP: Parents who drink alcohol and have more lenient attitudes towards alcohol are more likely to have adolescents who consume alcohol at risky and high risk levels. Try not to make every family gathering or celebration focus around alcohol. Make a point of having alcohol-free events to demonstrate to your children that you can enjoy yourself without alcohol.
Listen and engage
Be aware of and show interest in your child’s upcoming activities and discuss these (it’s an opportunity to set clear expectations). Get to know their friends, and their friend’s parents.
TIP: Knowing your kid’s friends’ parents gives you the advantage of knowing where your child is and enables you to discuss and develop a common position on things like drinking alcohol so that the kids are hearing one strong and united voice. If they don’t agree with your position at least they know your views and will be better placed to respect them. Be comfortable in the knowledge that you are in the majority- choosing to ‘delay your child’s introduction to alcohol’.
A good relationship
Work on developing and maintaining a good parent-child relationship based on clear and open communication. Parent-child relationships characterised by emotional warmth and support, trust, involvement and attachment are associated with lower levels of adolescent alcohol misuse.
TIP: Kids who feel their parents are caring, concerned and supportive start alcohol use later and drink less. Be there to support them as hormonal changes, school commitments and peer influence build.
Your expectations
Delaying your child’s first drink requires making your expectations regarding alcohol very clear. Not just to your child, but to the other adult influencers in their lives. Every family is different and boundaries and expectations need to be consistent with what you believe.
TIP: Involve your child in the development of the rules; your child needs to understand why the rules exist in the first place. They may not like the rules you set but it is vital they can see what your concerns are and how you hope to address them. Think about who bought or gave you your first drink/s… have you had a chat with the equivalent person in your child’s life?

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