Teen Alcohol Use: Helping Your Kids Resist the Dark Side

Especially during the summer, parents start to worry about teen alcohol use. There’s a decrease amount of supervision, an increased amount of boredom–a perfect recipe for teen drinking. Many parents don’t know what to do; do you give them the stern talk about the dangers of teen alcohol use or do you lock them down entirely for the summer? According to a recent NPR article, the answer lies in how warm, educative, and responsible with alcohol you are as a parent.

Information on teen alcohol use

Before the age of 13, 1 in 6 kids will have tried alcohol. It’s around the same number for the amount of teens who binge drink in high school. Concerning teen alcohol use, binge drinking is the most worrying; it highly increases the chance of fatal accidents, violence, injuries, and criminal behavior. Obviously, this is an issue that requires attention from schools and parents alike.

In one study, researchers discovered a parent’s drinking habits, parenting styles, and expectations were all predictors of whether a child would turn to teen alcohol use (specifically binge drinking). The same researchers found that a “home-based prevention program used by parents with their elementary school-age children made the kids less inclined” to consume alcohol.

What you can do as a parent

According to the article, teens whose parents didn’t really supervise them or provide a supportive environment at home had a higher chance of turning to binge drinking and getting into criminal trouble.

In a huge study, researchers found that a combination of warmth and supervision was the best way to deter teen alcohol use. But one without the other does no good. Too much supervision and no warmth actually pushes a child towards teen alcohol use and the same with warmth. But the two combined create a supportive environment in which teens share their feelings and behaviors more openly–which gives parents the ability to dissuade them from illegal behavior more effectively.

They also found that if parents drank a lot around their teens and/or expected their teens to be drinking alcohol, their children had a higher chance of being involved with binge drinking. Overall, warmth and supervision seem to be the best answer to teen alcohol use. Every child is different, though, so the amount of each will probably vary depending on your individual child.

Elevations RTC can help!

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, teen alcohol use, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help each student succeed and move towards a bright future.

For more information about how Elevations RTC treats issues related to teen alcohol use, please call today!

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