How to Deal with Underage Drinking and Prevent Alcohol Abuse

Are you worried that your child may start drinking at a young age? It’s a common fear amongst most parents and an important issue you should not ignore. Over the years, alcohol abuse has had a disastrous effect on millions of people and prevented them from living healthier and more fulfilling lives. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to alcohol abuse because there are many different ways to reduce the likelihood of this happening to your child, by taking some of the actions mention below.

Show Your Child the Consequences of Alcohol Abuse

Every alcoholic started out by initially taking one drink and probably never thought drinking would ruin their lives from that moment on. This is why it is important to show children and teens the huge impact alcohol can have on an individual. When someone sees the real impact of alcohol they will think twice about abusing it.

First of all, you could get your child involved in some local charity work to help people who are unfortunate enough to have fallen on hard times because of excessive drinking. A quick visit to a hospital or medical center that treats people with alcohol related illnesses will be a real warning about what could happen to anybody who does not understand the effects of drinking. A five-minute chat with a doctor who treats alcohol-related illnesses could be all your teenager needs to think again about their actions and their relationship with drink.

As part of this education, you should eventually focus on more positive aspects too. For example, you could allow your child or teen to talk to someone who is a recovering alcoholic and is getting help from an organization like Balboa Horizons. These people will give your child a greater insight into alcohol abuse, how it has affected them and how they have been helped. This should act as a strong deterrent and reduce the likelihood of your child abusing alcohol from a young age.

Lead by Example

Most parents have a huge influence over their kid’s lives, but they don’t realize they have this power. This means you have to take more responsibility for your actions, especially when it comes to alcohol. If you drink responsibly and alcohol is not consumed regularly at home in front of your children, they will be less likely to accept drinking as the norm.

Don’t make it easy for your child to obtain alcohol. Some irresponsible parents leave all types of alcohol lying around their homes. Some parents even supply their teens with alcohol for parties or other get-togethers they have with friends.

Talking to your teenager is just as important as the actions you take. Explain to them why alcohol is so dangerous and why they should not always listen to the glamorous ads for beers, wines and other alcoholic drinks. The warnings you give to your child at an early age, could result in your child making wiser, life changing decisions in the future.

Set Strict Rules

If a teenager knows they will be punished in some way for drinking alcohol, they will be less likely to take this risk. However, you have to get the balance right with this approach, because it is a natural instinct for many teens to rebel against the rules laid down by their parents.

If your teenager starts driving, it is imperative that you have a zero tolerance policy about drinking and driving. It should be made crystal clear that breaking this rule will have consequences. For example, you could tell your teenager you will not allow them to drive your car if they break this rule.

Act Quickly and Calmly

Every parent wants to trust their child or teenager. However, many kids don’t always heed the warning of their parents. If you suspect that your child is consuming alcohol, confront them about this issue and find a way to stop this from happening. It’s important to remain calm and diplomatic, so that you get your point across and don’t make things worse.

Alcohol is something you should take in moderation. However, some people can’t do this and eventually become dependent on it. Once an individual reaches adulthood, it is often too late to sort out this problem. However, educating your child about the dangers of alcohol, leading by example, setting rules and acting quickly when you think your teenager is drinking behind your back, will prevent them from developing a drinking problem in the future.

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