With teenage drinking on the rise, your teen may feel pressured by their peers to drink. If you suspect your teen is drinking or if they’ve told you they’ve been drinking or have gotten in trouble for underage drinking, here are some tips to help you deal with it and what to do to get the help your teen needs.
First of all, don’t over react. I know this is easier said than done, but sometimes teens try to shock us or expect us to over react when they do something wrong. The next thing to do is to talk to your teen about their drinking; find out why and how much, if possible. Reasons teens drink now days are probably a lot different than the reasons we drank when we were younger, but this is not always the case. When I was a teenager, I drank for the social aspect. Partying was fun and all my friends did it. Back when I was in school, my friends were not “bad” kids, they got good grades and went on to college after graduation. However, that picture has changed today.
Today, our teens suffer from depression, have anger issues, ADHD and ADD and many more issues they’re facing and the statistics continue to rise. If your teen tells you they drink to reduce stress or because they are depressed, they need to get help with their depression or to learn how to manage stress without the use of alcohol.
When talking with your teen about drinking and they indicate they drink just because it’s fun and their friends do it, explain the dangers of underage drinking and why you’re concerned. Teens tend to have an “it won’t happen to me” attitude, but they need to realize bad things can and do happen, like: MIP’s, drunk driving accidents that are often fatal, stupid decisions that could be avoided, or a lifestyle leading to alcoholism. If you have relatives for friends who have experienced any of these problems due to underage drinking, point those out to them and explain how they could have been totally avoided if they had not begun drinking at an early age.
If you find out your teens drinking is severe, you need to take action now. Don’t enable their drinking further by being hopeful that they will quit soon, no matter what they say. If you have a counceling program or such in your area, get them connected as quickly as possible. If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford it, seek out non-profit counceling programs. No matter what, don’t hesitate in seeking out professional help for your teen.
If you have an out of control teen, there is help for you! My Out of Control Teen is an online parent-program for those who are struggling with their out-of-control teenagers. Learn cut-to-the-chase parenting strategies that work immediately rather than months or years down the road.