June is a month of celebrations. If you have children, you know that it is also a time for prom and graduation parties. While it is easier to look the other way, the reality is that your teen will likely be confronted with the issue of drinking. If you don’t think it will be a problem for your teen, you may want to think again. Statistics report that 46% of all teens have reported drinking alcohol by the 10th grade. The Center for Disease Control reports that high school students drive intoxicated 2.4 million times each month, and underage drivers are 17% more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
Talking Does Make a Difference
We can feel a bit helpless as a parent – after all, your child is becoming independent, and you can’t be with them every moment of the day; however, regular conversations with your child about alcohol and its consequences go a long way. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, parents who take the time to talk to their teen about alcohol and its consequences have children who fare much better with alcohol-related issues. Studies also show that, when parents do not talk with their children about alcohol-related issues, teens often report this lack of communication as indifference and these teens are more likely to drink.
Tips on Talking to Your Teen
Your teenager has probably already heard statistics on alcohol consumption and DUI stories; however, if they really don’t understand how alcohol will affect them, all the statistics in the world aren’t going to mean anything. It is helpful to explain to them how alcohol will affect them if they try it and how they can put themselves in very real danger. Here are some important points to mention:
- Alcohol is a very deceptive drug. They will feel happy and relaxed at first, but as their blood alcohol rises, the risk of harm goes up exponentially.
- Their decision-making process will be impaired. They may go into a party with the best of intentions to make good choices. But, as their alcohol level rises, they could make very poor decisions such as drinking and driving.
- Their coordination will be affected. This will lead to slurred speech, loss of balance, and blurred vision.
- Their risk of aggressive behavior increases. This can lead to fights, verbal abuse, and altercations that never would have occurred if they hadn’t been drinking.
- The possibility of an alcohol overdose is very real. Drinking too much alcohol can cause loss of consciousness and even death.
Remember that you are the primary influence on your child. Setting a good example and having open and honest communication can do a world of good to keep your child safe this graduation season.
Should a problem arise, please contact us. We are here to help. As always, the consultation is free. Call us at 844-472-9683.