Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Tackle Underage Drinking

teen drinkingTo anyone who never have tried it, it may seem little weird, but I don’t think you can really grow up, without a sip of that awesome pungent taste of beer and whisky, says 17 year old Aahan, who has just passed his 12th exams. Is he right?? Ask any teen and the answer would come YES!!…. As the trend is in…so it’s really difficult to prevent teenagers from experimenting with alcohol, but parents can encourage sensible drinking habits. Read to know the right way to handle this early stage hang over.

What gets teens to splurge in alcohol? The 3Ps, ‘peers, parents and present trend to be a ‘wannabe’, are the major causes behind teens being inclined towards boozing these day. It is observed that children who have been raised by so-called indulgent parents, who tend to give their kid lots of praise and warmth, but offer little in the way of monitoring of their bad behavior — were…three times more likely to participate in heavy drinking, says Dr. Rachna Singh, Artemis Gurgaon. Furthermore, friends also play highly influential role behind developing this habit, adds Dr. Singh.
Apart these, some children also indulge in drinking to show their rebel while others just go for it for the sake to move with the latest trend.

Warning signs parents should watch out: Coming late nights, insisting most of the time for night outs, and demanding for more pocket money are some initial stage traits that should be observed by parents. Children who have just entered the drinking zone tend to avoid their parents or anyone when they come back to home. They would show little interest in studies and have more inclination towards friends. Also, sudden decrease in their regular appetite can be noticed.

For parents of 13 years and above, it is really important to scrutinize every change in the personality of their child. If your kid has started talking more about freedom and space, and if you have notice some instances of money being stolen, then you should get watchful towards his habit and try to be friendlier with him to understand his ways more closely.

Right way to bring them at ease: Scolding or frowning is not the best way to handle underage drinking habit. There are other more effective ways and non violent methods to fix it. ‘Insight’ is the real word to guide your tot about adversity of alcohol. Try to instigate self-awareness in your child’s mind that this lifestyle isn’t the correct one. Be friendly with them and discuss the positive as well as the negative aspect of drinking.

Drinking alcohol with parents “may help teach them responsible drinking habits or extinguish some of the ‘novelty’ or ‘excitement’ of drinking” according to Dr. Arti Anand, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Ganga Ram Hospital. The best way to handle children who drink is to be affectionate warm, loving parents. Further she adds, be disciplined with kids, set boundaries for them, and punish the child fairly when rules are broken; as sometimes, following strict rules with consequences, may stop a teen from binge drinking.

In case if he has become a chronic drinker, you must consult a psychologist or rehab experts.

For those looking to recover & rehab: There are many underage alcohol re-habitation centers in Delhi and at most of the urban cities that organize cessation classes for underage kids to deter their drinking habit. These alcohol rehab and drug treatment centers provide the mind stability and professional prevention skills, that addicts require the most to come on their path of recovery. Also, if required, they offer supervised detoxification that may involve medication in a hospital setting. Usually they prefer for social detoxification (i.e. no medication) in a non-hospital setting to make kids feel ease and little homely.

Most of these programs focus on medical stabilization, abstinence, and lifestyle changes and tend to keep patients up to 30 days at the centers. Staff members managing these centers are primarily medical professionals and trained counselors.

Raise alcohol smart kids: Don’t make alcohol a taboo in the family, talk about its ill- effects. Introduce social drinking in the family, for special occasions where the child is in a secure and homely environment. Most importantly don’t create a fear, act normal about it.

Parents also need to remember to have open and regular conversations with their children about drugs and alcohol, which is a very important component of prevention. It’s important for parents to communicate that they have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to their children’s use of any substance.

We know that having these conversations isn’t easy, and it can be very difficult to think about where to start. But, in the real parenting world, you must realize that there are times when you need to determine to yourself – let’s face it – for the ultimate wellbeing of your kid and for handling the mind set of teens like Aahan.

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Category: Good Parenting
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