Monday, May 28, 2012

Eradicating Teenage Binge Drinking from Our Culture

This week, I spoke on Breakfast about what parents can do to help support their teens and minimize the binge drinking culture. We’ve had a great conversation that sparked up on my Facebook Page and Profile – many young people and organisations had 2 cent to put in as to why teen binge drinking is such a problem, so here’s a few of my ideas…

Alcohol Consumption needs to stop being Glamourized by Adults

Every week on my Facebook News Feed, I see at least a couple of adults post up something about having a drink as soon as they leave work, or something along the lines of ‘It’s wine-o’clock, bring out the drinks!’. What kind of message is that supposed to be sending kids? It’s no secret that kids and teenagers want to grow up as fast as possible, and if drinking alcohol may make them look older, why wouldn’t they want to do it? Whatever kind of family you have, whether you enjoy some alcohol with your dinner or not, the idea of drinking in the home can cause negative effects, especially if done to excess.

Having said that, the way you parent your teens is totally up to you. If you think it’s smart to give your teens a glass of wine with dinner, or tell them that alcohol is the devil is totally up to you, because it won’t affect the next point…

Every Teenager will almost inevitably come across alcohol
The greatest test for parents is not how their teens act when they’re around, but how they act when the parents aren’t around. It all comes down to the way you parented your teen, and whether they can withstand peer pressure, want to try alcohol for the heck of it, or whatever, but at the end of the day it does come down to personal preferences. A teen might go out and get so wasted that they will decide to never touch the stuff again. It happens, but very rarely. The parenting part of this is to let your teens know about the dangers of alcohol, but also give them the unconditional support if they end up in trouble. If they call you at 3am in the morning, needing you to pick them up, it’s not the time to play it cool – help them out, because next time, it might be a matter of life or death, and they may be too scared to ask you for help. As long as you have stated your opinions around alcohol, and have warned them about the effects, when they give you that phone call, they will already be feeling they are letting you down, and trust me, it’s a horrible feeling.

Do Not Buy Alcohol for Your Teens
Even if they are of age, why buy it for them if they should be the ones with the job, to afford these life luxuries? By buying them alcohol, you’re basically saying you’re OK with them getting wasted, no matter how much of it you buy. Terrible, terrible idea, and really, not a very smart way to parent. Seriously.

How do you tackle the issue of teenage binge drinking in your home?

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