The habitual misuse of alcohol is referred to as alcohol abuse.
Alcohol is easily accessible to everyone, including children and teens if they really want it.
Alcohol abuse is a serious matter, especially in teens.
No one is exempt from its impact.
To prevent alcohol misuse and abuse it must start in the home.
Being aware of what it is and how to prevent it is useful to every parent.
Most likely children in grade school have not begun alcohol use.
This is a good thing! This is the age where you should begin talking to your child about alcohol and drugs.
Make it easy and comfortable for them to communicate with you about tough topics like these.
By starting early and setting rules, children are less likely to begin abusing alcohol when they are subjected to peer pressure in their teens.
A great tool to give your child early is this: practice saying NO!
Role play with them from an early age on how they can turn down or decline a drink.
This way, years later, they will be very comfortable with multiple ways to say no to an alcoholic beverage, whether from a stranger, a date, or a friend.
Take time to learn about alcohol and the effects it can have.
Learn what abuse looks like, what the symptoms are and how to prevent it.
Share the effects and consequences with your child early on to build that knowledge of it with them.
Use Your Power
To prevent teen alcohol abuse, take the time to set specific boundaries and rules.
Be clear on what these are and explain them to your teen.
Provide guidance and explain why the rules are what they are.
If your teen knows there are expectations, they will make better choices when faced with crossroads.
The next logical step is to be a great role model.
Use your power as a parent to show your teen that you don’t abuse alcohol, either.
Teens learn from watching you more than they do from hearing what you are saying.
What are your actions portraying to your teen?
Awareness starts at home.
Be there for them.
Be constant in their lives.
Be a mom to them every day.
Be willing to listen, and not jump to conclusions.
Remember, you want them to feel comfortable with you, that they will open up to you and trust you won’t overreact.
Spending time with your teen is an important part of alcohol abuse awareness because of the relationship and trust you both will have for each other.
Teen alcohol abuse is a real issue in today’s society.
With a few key steps, you can prevent this in your teen’s life.
By being there for them and spending quality time with them, you will build a repertoire.
Start early, teaching your younger child about the dangers of alcohol and practice saying no.
Set clear and concise rules, so that all involved will know what is expected.
For a mom, awareness starts at home in preventing teen alcohol abuse.