Kids and Alcohol: You Can Make a Difference
Kids navigate the maze of life by using two “stars” or guideposts. Their world is split roughly in half by the influence of both parents and peers. The more power of influence you have as a parent, the less peers will have and vice versa.
In a study of 1,000 teens by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, they found that only one in four teens had “hands on” parents. Teens with actively engaged parents are at 25% of the risk for substance abuse than those living in “hands off” households.
Parents who establish structure and rules of behavior have better relationships with their kids – and their kids have significantly lower incidences of smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. What happens during the adolescent years can affect the “hardwiring” of their brains for the rest of their lives.
It’s important to start discussing alcohol use and abuse with your kids at an early age. It is equally important to keep the discussion going as they grow and evolve. Although experimentation with alcohol can be common among kids and adolescents, it’s not safe or legal.
It’s important to be clear in word and in deed about how dangerous it is to experiment with drugs and alcohol, especially as a form of escapism. When communicating with your child, make sure you give them your full attention. Giving your full undivided attention suggests that he or she is truly loved, they are valuable, that he or she is safe and is the most important person in the world to you. Your intentional presence is the single greatest need a child has.
Remember, there is nothing more influential in your child’s life than the power of a quiet example.
Article by: Dr, Maryann Rosenthal, Clinical Psychologist, Chief Clinical and Compliance Officer, Recovery Ways