Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is when anyone under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 drinks alcohol.Underage drinking is a risk that attracts many developing adolescents and teens.Underage drinking is a risk that attracts many developing adolescents and teens. When young people try

Why Underage Drinking Is A Cardinal Sin

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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Are parents responsible for underage drinking?

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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How Can Underage Drinking Be Prevented?

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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