November 21, 2017

Alcohol Abuse in Children: Keeping Your Child Safe

Alcohol Abuse in Children: Keeping Your Children SafeThis article is from one of our great contributors. Please read and then comment letting her know you appreciated her article. Thanks!

Research has shown that 80% of kids have experimented with alcohol, long before it is legal for them to drink. Adolescents experience depression, emotional anxiety, and have less practice with positive-coping skills that predispose them to the appealing “numbing effects” of alcohol.

Being aware of your adolescent’s emotional well-being can develop a relationship that fosters effective communication. By following certain steps in your daily relationship with your adolescent, it is possible to prevent your child from using alcohol.

Maintain an Active Interest in Your Child’s Life

Studies have shown critical transitional periods for adolescents occur during middle to high school. At this time, kids are at a high risk for experimentation with alcohol, tobacco and possibly drugs. Many teens acquire a driver’s license during this period and begin a journey to a higher level of independence and social interactions. Venturing out of the norm, your teen may meet older kids with access to alcohol and more experience with drinking. Keeping an active role in your child’s life can decrease the chances of serious consequences of alcohol addiction or abuse.

The Rebelliousness of Youth

Keeping an active role in your child’s life may be challenging for some parents. As your child gains independence, he/she may accuse you of prying and not trusting their judgment. Although a natural phase of growing up, teens still need supervision due to their inexperience and undeveloped decision- making skills. Unsupervised time for your teen is a big risk factor, and although you want to foster dependence, you must still be vigilant. As a parent, you always have to know where they are, who they are with, and what are they doing. Always take time to interact with your teen when they come home.

Adolescents are prone to the powerful effects of peer pressure

Adolescents are in the powerful throes of peer pressure. As the social part of the brain develops, they exercise their ability to be accepted by the group. Unfortunately, peer pressure makes them vulnerable to “going along with the crowd,” and making them susceptible to alcohol experimentation and abuse. Don’t assume your child is not pressured by peer interactions, check-in with your teen regularly and insist they call during unsupervised time away from school or home. If a sleepover is discussed, call host parents and confirm the details. Inform your child you will be aware of what is going on.

Talk to Your Child’s Friends

One of the most powerful insights you can gain into your child’s life is speaking with his/her friends. Ask them how they feel about alcohol, smoking, and other drugs of abuse. Question them how they feel about their relationships with their parents, and how they are supervised at home. Discuss the rules you’ve set for parties, sleepovers, and other activities.

Open and Honest Communication

It’s important to begin an open dialogue with your child from an early age. Maintaining a strong and productive relationship with your child helps them trust you enough to ask for help. Encouraging your child’s honest communication means you also have to be open to truthfulness. Although some questions may be difficult to answer, keep all discussions with your teenager appropriate and sincere.

 

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Comments

  1. All great reminders. Alcohol is so prevalent in our society. Must be aware as parents.
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