Underage drinking can lead to a number of dangers, such as alcohol poisoning, abuse, and deadly car crashes. Therefore, it’s important to discuss these dangers with your children and teens. While it may seem that there’s no way to prevent your child from trying alcohol, talking about it and establishing rules can go a long way in preventing underage drinking.
Preventing Underage Drinking: Talking to your Children
Talk About It
One of the first steps in preventing underage drinking is to talk about alcohol with your kids. When children begin facing peer pressure to drink, its important that they feel comfortable talking to you about it. So, try speaking openly about alcohol and the pressure your child may feel to drink. Instead of doing all of the talking, allow them to share their own thoughts and experiences. Then, share your own drinking habits, experiences, tastes, and the danger of underage drinking.
Give Them Ways to Say “No”
Helping your child develop ways to say no can help in preventing underage drinking. At any age, resisting peer pressure can be very difficult. However, getting comfortable with telling friends no can help your child avoid alcoholic beverages. So, practice different ways and scenarios in which they will need to turn down a drink. The more comfortable they become with saying no, the more natural it will be to refuse a drink.
Don’t Let Boredom Lead to Drinking
In many cases, kids may begin drinking purely out of curiosity. But at other times, it begins as an answer to boredom. When teens don’t have much to fill their time, they may decide to spend it doing things they shouldn’t. Therefore, you want to be sure to keep your child busy doing things they enjoy. For instance, you may want to look into sports, academic clubs, and other extracurricular activities. By keeping them busy, you can prevent boredom leading to troubling behavior.
In short, preventing underage drinking can be hard since many teens are curious about alcohol. However, talking to your child about drinking can go a long way. Without lecturing too much, you want to talk about the danger of drinking too young. Try to let your child talk and ask questions so they feel comfortable discussing this with you. Then, help them practice ways to say no and make sure to keep them busy doing things they enjoy.