Keep Your Teen From Binge Drinking With These Tips

When you have your first child, the anxiety hits. You are now responsible for a whole new life. You have to feed them and change them, make sure that they don’t get into any danger and make sure that they learn all of the things that they need to learn in their little lives. The scariest part is that one day they’re going to grow up into teenagers and there’s a whole new world of anxiety that opens up to you. As a parent, this new life is going to be in your hands and you have to make sure that you get your baby to adulthood without too much trouble. 

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Monkey see, monkey do, right? Of course – a teenager who doesn’t want to be at school will usually play hooky with friends rather than go alone. A teenager struggling and rebelling will usually want to take drugs or drink with someone else rather than do it alone. The problem? There will always be temptation and peer pressure, and it’s up to us as parents to make sure that our teenagers are kept from behaviors that can see them going down the wrong road. One of the worst to consider is alcohol. Given how freely it’s sold, it’s not always considered anything more than a rite of passage that your teenager will sneak a few drinks before they hit the legal drinking age. The words ‘we’ve all done it’ and ‘kids being kids’ get thrown around without a second thought for the danger of it. Why would there be? After all, you were fine, right?

While we’re fortunate enough to have programs like there to catch your teen when they fall, the ideal is that they learn all the dangers and know their options as early as possible. You want to prevent binge drinking in your teenager and that means that both conversation and education are key. With this in mind, here are some of the tips that you need to keep your teenager from binge drinking:

  1. Give them something to do. Teenagers need more than just school – they need to be engaged and busy and that’s where you come in. Help your teenager get a job or get them into some extra-curricular or after school programs and make sure that they don’t have the time to seek out those behaviors. Show them the world in a way they won’t have seen it before. Give them the tools that they need to cope in the world and keep them stimulated!
  2. Get to know their friends. One of the best ways that you can ensure that your teenager will be prevented from drinking is if you make sure that they are hanging out in the right crowds. Letting them know that they can bring their friends over and use somewhere in your house as a safe hangout is a good way to be able to get an instinct about the people they hang out with.
  3. Keep communicating. Teenagers are notoriously monotonous with their parents and while an element of that is to be expected, you should think about making sure that you can keep the lines of communication with your teenagers open. Send social media messages or text messages if necessary. Whatever means possible, keep communicating and being a parent to them – they need to know that they can come to you if they are in trouble, no matter what the trouble is.
  4. Be a part of their lives. No matter what you and your family are up to, a big part of preventing binge drinking is to ensure that you are present in their lives. Often, teenagers turn to binge drinking as a method of coping with their emotions. If you’re a present and active part of your teenagers life, they’ll be less inclined to turn to habits and will be more inclined to turn to you.
  5. Give them a reason to tell their friends no. If you can help your teenager to realize their dreams, they’re going to have reasons to say no to behavior that can spiral. Ask them their goals and what they want from life. Ask them how they feel, how they see their future play out. Ask them about the college they want to go to and how they see themselves getting there. Write it up together and prevent them from saying yes to getting drunk all the time – they need a reason beyond boredom. If they’re in trouble, give them the nod that you are there to relieve them of their issues and they’ll be more likely to ask for help when they need it and not turn to drinking.

Image Source: Pexels

  1. Remove temptation. If you have alcohol in the house and your teenager is partying a lot more than they did at first, don’t allow alcohol to be in the house. It’s like a moth to a flame and you can remove the flame. You can’t trap your kid in the house and refuse to let them leave, but you can make sure that they are feeling safe within their own home. 
  2. Don’t ban it. Okay so this one sounds counter-productive, but banning alcohol entirely may not be the best idea. If you have a teenager who wants to drink alcohol they’re going to do it whether you say no or not. However, you can get them talking to the police and to counselors about the risks and make sure that they are informed. If you ban smoking, they’ll be tempted into the forbidden and try it, right? Well it’s the same for drinking! 
  3. Talk to them about legalities. Under 21, teenagers are not allowed to drink by law. If you  and your teenager speak to the authorities together and learn the law, they’ll be put off from drinking with friends to excess. They will learn the consequences in the form of statistics from kids who drink and drive, or passengers who get into cars with others who have had a few drinks. Knowledge is power and that means that you can teach them that one mistake can change and potentially ruin their lives. 

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