Teenage drinking is an emotive subject. It is also a difficult subject for parents. You may be planning ahead, trying to work out which strategy is likely to help your child take a responsible attitude towards drinking or you may already be faced with a teenager who is binge drinking. You will find ten ideas below to help you work with your child to reduce the possibility of them binge drinking on a regular basis.
Here are ten tips to help you devise a strategy that will work for your child:
1. Should I Introduce My Child to Alcohol?
I believe that the best people to introduce a teenager to drinking are their parents. I would suggest that introducing alcoholic drinks with a meal is the best course to follow. This helps to promote responsible drinking and shows that alcohol can be enjoyed in relatively small qualities away from parties, pubs etc.
You may feel that this approach encourages children to start drinking. The fact is that your child is likely to start drinking any way. This approach simply gives you the advantage of starting them off under your own supervision.
2. What is an Acceptable Age to Start Drinking?
There isn't really a golden age when it becomes acceptable to start drinking. I suggest that it is wise to wait until any child has gone a long way through puberty when their body is likely to be able to cope more easily with alcohol. At a more advanced age they are also likely to be sensible enough to understand the upsides and downsides of drinking.
3. How Can I Stop Them Binge Drinking?
All teenagers are likely to binge drink at some stage. This is most likely to happen at a teenage party, but it could happen at a friend's house, a pub or even in the street. All you can really do is set a good example, promote sensible drinking and explain to them the dangers of getting drunk. A teenager is far more likely to get pregnant, get someone else pregnant or be the victim of an assault if they are drunk. You can also explain to them that regular binge drinking will affect their performance at sport and in school.
4. Does My Own Drinking Have an Effect?
If you drink regularly and heavily in front of your children it will suggest to them that this is a good way to behave. Teenagers may also feel an urge to match or surpass your own drinking too. If you decide you need a heavy session it is a good idea to do it away from your family.
5. What Happens if Their Friends Get Drunk?
If any of their friends get drunk it is important for your child to stay with them. Even if they think it might cause trouble get them to telephone a parent. It is better to ask for help before more serious problems develop.
6. What Should They Watch Out For?
If either a stranger or someone they cannot trust offers to buy them a drink then they should go to the bar with them. Watch closely to make sure the drink is not tampered with.
When at a party they should choose drinks carefully. They are always best off with drinks that have not previously been opened. Again these cannot have been tampered with.
There are likely to be many different types of drinks available. Many of these may be new to them. Therefore advise your child to check the labels first. That way they can check the strength of the drink before they select their next drink.
7. How Can They Avoid Getting Drunk?
Not all teenagers are desperate to go out and get drunk. Many enjoy drinking, but are often pushed over the edge by peer pressure. It will be a big help to them if they know they are likely to be drinking alcohol if they eat a decent meal beforehand. Some people suggest that starchy foods such as pasta help to soak up alcohol. Others suggest fatty foods can help. Encourage them to look for any signs that they are beginning to become drunk. They should stop drink at that point as it is likely that more alcohol is still to be released into their bloodstream.
8. How Can They Cope With Peer Pressure?
Peer pressure is one of the prime reasons why teenagers get drunk. It can be hard to do, but missing the odd round is not always as difficult as it might sound. If someone is buying a round of drinks and your child openly says they are struggling to keep up genuine friends will not buy another drink. This is especially true if it is pointed out they will be wasting their money. It is also worth asking for a soft drink or if drinking beer asking for half a pint.
9. What Should They Drink?
Low strength beer can help anyone to avoid getting drunk and out of control. There is only so much beer most people can drink before they feel full up and bloated. This often comes before problem levels are reached and also helps to slow down the speed at which the alcohol is consumed.
So called Designer drinks can be the fastest path to getting drunk and out of control. These drinks mix a serious shot of alcohol with a mixer such as tonic water or lemonade. This soft drink masks the taste of the alcohol and lulls them into a false sense of security.
10. Is There Any General Advice I Can Give Them?
Drinks should never be left unattended. If anyone leaves a drink and comes back to it they cannot be certain it has not been tampered with. Therefore it is safer to buy a fresh drink.
Make sure they know where they are going. There are many places best avoided, especially by teenagers who are new to alcohol. If they are starting to use pubs it is best to start off somewhere quiet while they are getting the hang of how it all works.
You can also explain that being drunk is not a great turn on. If they are going somewhere with the intention of meeting members of the opposite sex being drunk does not prove a great attraction. For girls it can also lead to them being taken advantage of.
The problem of underage drinking can be minimized if parents themselves teach their children about the dangers of excessive drinking as well as drinking alcohol responsibly.
Interesting ideas on keeping kids from drinking at early ages, but when alcohol is almost everywhere you look wine bottles, beer, and advertisements plus people on TV drinking it's extremely difficult to keep kids from drinking maybe one idea is to bring them to a www.drugrehab.net to see people who have major alcohol problem similar to how kids sometimes go to prisons for scared straight programs.
Posted: 07/Apr/08 at 21:28:40
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