How to Discourage Teenage Drinking
Posted November 1, 2017 by Christian Smith
It is all too common for teenagers to experiment with drinking, and even other forms of substance abuse. Despite that fact that it is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, more than 1-in-10 people between the ages of 12 and 20 binge drink on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that drinkers who are underage typically consume more alcoholic drinks when they binge drink than legal-age adults who binge drink. For this reason, it is important to take steps to discourage teenage drinking with your own child. Here are some ways to do just that…
Set clear rules
Make clear and easily understood rules for your child that make them understand what your expectations for them are, and that you won’t tolerate underage drinking. This means setting consequences up front, and following through when your rules are broken. While everyone wants to be the cool and accepting parent, it is still your responsibility to set up standards that are going to improve your child’s life in the long run.
Be involved in their day-to-day life
As a parent, you should be involved in your teenager’s life, on a regular basis. They shouldn’t be a stranger to you, and you shouldn’t have no understanding of what is going on in their day-to-day life. Try to keep up on what your kid’s extracurricular activities are, and always have an idea of where they are throughout the day. This gets more difficult when they get older in their teenage years, as they are probably off spending time with friends. While it’s important to let them have a degree of independence, you should check up on them to make sure that they aren’t in precarious situations that could promote substance abuse.
Keep an open line of communication
Many times, teens who experiment with substance abuse, whether it is alcohol or something worse, are struggling with deeper issues, such as mental illness. Other times, they might be developing depression, whether it is biologically driven or due to events in their social life. However, if you never talk to your child, then you won’t ever be able to recognize these things. Even if your child is less inclined to talk to you in their teenage years, as they figure out who they are, it is important to keep an open line of communication and try to talk to them every day, so you know what their feelings are and what is going on in their heads.