These days, a considerable number of children in America start drinking by the time they reach middle school. Moreover, studies show that 50% of 8th graders have tried drinking alcohol.
There are various reasons for kids to try drinking alcohol such as risk-taking, peer pressure, high tolerance to alcohol, and hereditary factors. Parents must make a stand on underage drinking before it is too late. And the best way to avoid underage drinking is talking about it to their kids.
Parents have a strong influence on their children, no matter how the outside world bombards them with games, television shows, music, and magazines. Children are quite attuned to their parents, in their words and actions. Therefore, the first line of defense against underage drinking is to build an open line of communication with your kids.
This line of communication is developed through trust and constant involvement in your child’s life. When a child feels safe and comfortable to talk to his parent, his concerns, whether big or small, may be answered without fear of being ridiculed or scolded.
Discussing underage drinking is not a one-time big lecture, but rather small talks that can be incorporated in the child’s daily life. For instance, if your child sees actors getting wasted in a TV show, ask your child how he feels about it. Keep an open mind while your child discusses his feelings. Talk about your own values with your child. Imparting your values and family history around alcohol will form an atmosphere of trust and understanding.
Afterwards, you may share inputs on the risk of underage drinking. Keep it simple enough for the child to understand. Talking about it will let the child know that you care.