HOW CAN FAMILIES CURB UNDERAGE DRINKING?
Teenage is never easy.
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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!