How To Talk To Your Child About Underage Drinking
For some households, alcohol is a sensitive topic. On the one hand, you do not want to acknowledge the fact […]
For some households, alcohol is a sensitive topic. On the one hand, you do not want to acknowledge the fact that your teen might drink at some point in their teenage life. On the other hand, alcohol is an issue that you have to talk to them about. They have to know the effects of drinking, and they have to know its consequences as well.
This way, they will know what they are getting themselves into and can make rational and informed decisions prior to even raising that glass to their lips. Because alcohol is a tough yet unavoidable topic that you need to address, here are some tips to help you.
Know the Views of Your Teen
You are a very fortunate parent if you have a good relationship with your teen. You and your teen will not have a hard time discussing sensitive topics like alcohol and why they should stay away from it.
However, if your relationship with your teen is not that tight, then broaching topics like this is going to be a bit difficult. What you can do though to bring up the topic of drinking is to ask him about his views.
This way, you will get to find out what your child knows about alcohol and what his views are regarding it. Of note; it is better if you start with lighter topics first, such as school and friends, before you go into the heavier topic of alcohol and its effects. Make your teen more comfortable talking to you first, so he will be more open to the topic.
Throw Light on What They Know of Alcohol
During your conversation, the topic of why teens drink might come up. Common reasons for underage drinking include peer pressure, the need to be popular, to get that “high” feeling, to forget problems, among others. Because these are the common reasons why teens drink, it might become your teen’s reasons, too, to try alcohol.
As a parent, you have to gently but firmly debunk these reasoning. Explain to your teen that he does not need to drink to become popular, and that popularity in school is not the be-all and end-all in high school. School, good grades, and good friends are the key to a happy high school life.
Furthermore, explain to your teen that alcohol does not make one feel “high” nor does it help them cope with problems. Instead of helping, alcohol only makes one more dependent on the stuff, which is very detrimental in the long run.
Discuss the Effects and Consequences of Alcohol
Share facts about alcohol, and tell them what it does to one’s body and mind. Explain to them the effects and consequences of alcohol – that long-term use can cause diseases and illnesses; that alcohol numbs their body and mind, making them take unnecessary risks such as unwanted pregnancy and STDs; that alcohol can lead to legal problems such as DUI, destruction of property, disruption of peace and quiet, altercation with another person resulting to assault and battery, and even rape.
Explain to them that the consequences of fines, possible jail time, and long-term effects are not worth the few hours of inebriation.
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Jennifer Dallas is a blogger for parenting sites where she shares parenting tips and advice. If your teen has gotten into trouble because of alcohol and you need to get him out of jail, she advises that you see bail bond companies like Bail Bonds DIRECT and get a lawyer.