Preventing Underage Drinking

Preventing Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is becoming a serious problem. The reason for this is because it is becoming increasingly easy for teens and children to get a hold of alcohol by way of various means. High school parties, for example, are allowing teenagers to get access to alcohol much more easily than ever before. You cannot be next to your teen all the time so there is no way to completely prevent them from drinking while underage.

What you can do, however, is to be vigilant about what your teen is doing with their time so that if an underage drinking problem does occur, you can help to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later.

There are actually a lot of little things that you can do to gain an edge over the situation. If you want to know whether or not underage drinking is a problem within your household or your family, then consider the following small steps:

  1. Take charge of the laundry situation. This is a non-intrusive way that you can find some of the first clues of a substance abuse problem. Check all of their clothes, not only for what is in the pockets but also for smells or stains that might indicate that something is going on.

  2. Give your child a hug every day. Does this sound silly? If you embrace your son or daughter every time you see them, it gives you a chance to be up close and personal where you can see what you see, smell, feel or hear. This is a great way to get close to your kid, and you might just find out whether or not your child is dealing with an alcoholism problem.

  3. Do a little bit of homework. Would you know how to tell if your child has come home drunk? Would you be able to detect alcohol on the breath of your child? It is vitally essential that you do a little bit of research and get to know the signs and the symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol use so that you will be able to tell the difference.

  4. Get to know your child's friends. Who your friends are actually says a lot about your own values, and the same is going to be true for your children. Who are your teen's friends? What are they up to? The more you know about who your teen is hanging out with, the more you'll understand what they are up to.

  5. Watch out for the signs. If your teen is using a lot of body spray, eye drops or breath mints, these could be signs that something is going on. Another key indicator is that your child has memorabilia or merchandise with alcohol brands on it.

  6. Make sure that you are asking the right questions. Rather than asking if your teen is using drugs, why not ask if they know anyone who is? If you ask the right questions then the odds are good that you will receive much more satisfactory answers as a result.

  7. Bring the right attitude to the table and know when to praise your child. It's all about having the right attitude when you approach this subject with your child. When you praise your child for being sober, and have the right attitude about the entire situation, you are going to have a much better result than if you are mean or accusatory.

  8. Know when to stop being a parent and start being a friend. It is important that your teenager is aware of who she or he can talk to when in need. If your teen needs you, then they should be completely comfortable talking to you about it. When your teen knows they can trust you as a friend, the results are going to be much better. It will be better for them to talk to you when they feel pressured rather than simply falling prey to the pressure.

  9. Make sure that you are educated on the subject so that you can protect your teen. Ultimately, the more that you know about teenage substance abuse, the more power you are going to have. It is vitally essential that you stay aware of current trends in teen substance abuse and that you always have your eyes open so that you can nip a problem in the bud before it becomes truly serious.

left quoteKeep these things in mind and you can help to prevent underage drinking in your household.right quote

Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    Good suggestions for parents. Another critical thing parents can do to help their kids avoid alcohol, tobacco and drug use is to provide positive image comments to their youth. These brief comments should highlight the social image benefits of health enhancing behaviors like physical activity, sports participation, healthy eating, getting adequate sleep and practicing stress management (e.g., young people who exercise regularly are fit, active, less stressed and more confident).

    Next, provide a comment about how specific types of substance use interferes with achievement of these same positive images and healthy habits (e.g., However, alcohol and tobacco use makes a person less fit, more likely to not feel like exercising, increases stress and shows a lack of self-confidence).

    Lastly, take advantage of the motivation you've increased in your youth from cueing these positive images by asking them to list two or more health behavior goals they would like to improve upon in the next week and month to achieve positive images they value. Co-sign their goals to enhance commitment. Try these strategies and let me know how they work for you. We've use similar evidence-based brief motivational intervention for thousands of youth and young adults with great success.

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