Kids and alcohol don’t mix, yet underage drinking remains a serious health problem in the United States. The misuse of alcohol can result in various health and safety risks — alcohol is the most widely misunderstood substance among young people in America. Luckily, there are an endless amount of tools at your fingertips to help encourage your kids to choose a healthy lifestyle and refrain from underage drinking. Take a look at these four ways you can help kids learn about the dangers of alcohol.
According to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the average age for a first drink is just 14 years old. In order to help fight this persistent health problem, consider buying books about underage drinking to give to your kids. Make sure the information is age-appropriate and keep in mind that delivering helpful information via multiple platforms can more effectively get the message across about the dangers of underage drinking.
You can find really anything you need today online, and information about how to teach kids to make smart choices is no exception. Websites online offer free educational resources, including lesson plans and worksheets that are available for download to teach kids about alcohol and the developing brain. Knowledge is power!
Open lines of communication
Talk to your children to help prevent alcohol use. The earlier you have these conversations, the better. Parenting.com tells us that when parents take the time to teach kids the risks of using alcohol, they slash the chance of use in half. The adolescents whose parents failed to provide a supportive and warm home environment and didn’t keep an eye on them were more likely to binge drink. Parental monitoring in combination with warmth act as protective measure against underage binge drinking.
As a parent, it’s also smart to encourage activities outside of the typical school day, such as social or life skills training, clubs or sports. Kids who are involved in extracurricular activities are less likely to engage in underage drinking.
Good role models
Parents play a vital role when it comes to preventing teen alcohol use; make it a point to set a good example for your kids and don’t abuse alcohol. Studies show how influential the parents view on underage drinking can be. Always be clear on your expectations so your children know what you expect from them and stick with consequences for not meting those expectations. Never underestimate the power of family dinners; sit down for regular family dinners and you can anchor your family and protect your child from all types of harm.
A sense of inevitability tends to surround the topic of underage drinking, but parents can play a very important role in the prevention of teen alcohol use and abuse. The good news is that when armed with the necessary information, parents can create alcohol prevention campaigns and teach their kids about its dangers in their very own homes.
Photo credit: Pixabay
Let’s connect on social media too: