Many teens and young adults think that occasionally having a drink does not put them at risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, but it does. If you worry that your child is drinking, we offer alcohol abuse treatment services at Kiwi Recovery. However, preventing underage drinking is possible with the right strategies. Contact us at 617.751.6610 to hear more about the methods we recommend for underage drinking prevention.
Underage Drinking Prevention: Speaking Clearly About the Facts
One of the most effective suggestions for preventing underage drinking is to remember to speak with your child. Communication is key when dealing with these concerns—but remember to avoid lecturing. Instead, focus on communicating calmly and empathetically.
You don’t want to tackle the entire subject of underage drinking in one sitting. It’s a big topic, so start early. Explain what kind of offers they may run into and what they should say or do. Letting your child understand that they have a choice in how they behave is crucial.
Underage drinking prevention should also touch on the facts of what alcohol can do to your child’s brain and developing body. Gather some facts about alcohol and let them know that their brains will not be fully developed until their 20s, so alcohol can cause irreversible changes if they drink before then.
However, it is vital to avoid fear-mongering. It may undermine your efforts when your child learns the truth. Offer only the facts.
Interested in Preventing Underage Drinking?
You need to know who your child is hanging out with. You may want to be the “cool” parent and let them enjoy a bit of freedom, but knowing where your child is and what kind of people are around them can help you understand the risks that surround them.
If your child is heading out to an event or even to a friend’s house, ask questions like:
- Will there be adults there?
- When are you getting home?
- Do I have contact information?
Encourage your child to find activities to do outside of school. A bored teen is more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs than one who has lots of activities to fill up their time. Everything should be in moderation, however, since you don’t want stress to lead them to seek out relief in unhealthy ways.
Become a Positive Influence
Your child will imitate your actions, whether they want to or not. If you show them that you’re responsible in the way you consume alcohol and that you don’t drink more than you should, they will take their cues from you. Having a healthy relationship with alcohol requires an example.
Keep an Eye Out for Signs
You need to know what to look for if you suspect your child is engaging in underage drinking. It is not always as obvious as it sounds. Pay attention to how they’re managing schoolwork and other responsibilities, and make sure that you watch for changes in behavior, personal hygiene, and even whether they start hanging out with people they’ve not engaged with before.
Set Clear Rules
Are there rules in your home about underage drinking? Make your expectations clear so that your child knows what consequences to expect for their actions. This will allow them to make better decisions when they come face-to-face with the option of drinking.
Kiwi Recovery Offers Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs
If your child struggles with underage drinking, getting them help as soon as possible is vital. At Kiwi Recovery, we offer programs that provide the exact level of care that your child needs. Reach out to Kiwi Recovery today by calling 617.751.6610 to speak with one of our experts.