You might think that your teenage children won’t drink but the truth is that most teenagers do end up drinking at least once. Lack of judgment, peer pressure and lack of communication with a responsive adult will lead to children trying alcohol in one form or another. Every teen, no matter how shy or sincere, does want to try alcohol because they think it’s an adult thing to do. Many teenagers that start drinking at a young age find it hard to keep it under control when they become adults. There is however steps that a parent can take to stop teenagers from becoming alcoholics. Here are the top 10 ways to stop teenage alcoholism.
Talking to teenagers is the best way to keep them in check. You don’t have to talk specifically about alcoholism all the time but just talk to them and build a trust so that they can come to you when they need any guidance. Building an atmosphere of honesty in which the teenager feels he can safely be honest will help them during their times of crisis when they need adult guidance.
The other part of communication is listening. You can’t just lecture teenagers for hours and not give them enough time to express themselves. Truly listening to what your children have to say will encourage them to be open and honest. If you only pretend to listen, teenagers will not open up to you. Talking and listening together form good communication which is the best way of avoiding all the teenage problems including alcoholism.
When your teens start spending more time out of the house than inside, you need to set some strict rules and policy regarding alcohol and drugs. Be clear about these rules and let your teens know that these rules can’t be broken. The earlier you set these rules the easier it will be for the teenager to follow them. Try not to make any exceptions to the rules.
Teenagers can get irritated when their parents want to spend time with them but if you’ve had a good, open and communicative relation with your child they will not mind your spending time with them and instead cherish this time. You can do some activity together or just hang out and watch movies. It is also a good time to teach your kids about various issues like alcoholism without sounding too preachy.
Probably the most important thing you can do to stop teenage alcoholism is to be a good role model. If you are an alcoholic yourself then you can’t expect to stop your children from drinking. Always drink in moderation and never drink so much that you lose control over your actions and words. Don’t drink daily and don’t have too many parties at your house. Avoid inviting people who drink too much as they can set a bad example for the teens.
Whatever you do, never ever drink and drive. Even if you have had just one drink you shouldn’t drive. This sets a bad example for the kids. While teens trying alcohol once or twice isn’t such a big problem, drinking and driving can be fatal even the first time. They need to know that it is not okay to drive even if you’ve had just one drink. Use the designated driver system when going to a party. Make sure your kids know that even if they get drunk at a party they are not to drive under the influence in any condition.
Teenagers that participate in many extracurricular activities usually stay away from alcohol and drugs. As they say an empty mind is the devil’s workshop so make sure your teenager always has something to do. But don’t force activities on your children and let them choose what they have an interest in.
To avoid alcoholism you need to be strict about the rules you’ve set about alcohol. Your children may drink once or twice and that’s okay as long as they tell you about it and you punish them accordingly. Don’t be too strict or too lenient as these both are the wrong approach to raising your children to become healthy and responsible adults.
If this step seems too harsh on yourself then you might be an alcoholic. A normal person should be able to do without having a store of alcohol at home. You can buy whenever you are having a party but if you need to drink daily then you’ll find it hard to control your children in terms of alcoholism. The fact is that the first drink that children have is from their parent’s cupboard. Not keeping alcohol at home also shows the teens that alcohol doesn’t have to be such a big part of life.
There are many talks you need to have with your children as they grow up. Talk about alcoholism at an early age, probably at 12 or 13. Let the kids know about the facts about alcohol and how addictive it can be. Give them examples of people who have ruined their life due to alcohol. If you have a rehabilitated alcoholic in the family let them share their experience with the kids.