4 Ways to Help Prevent Underage Summer Drinking
In a Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 29 percent of high school students admitted to drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, with 14 percent of those respondents admitting to binge drinking. A surprisingly 17 percent of the surveyed students said they rode with a driver who had been drinking, while 5 percent admitted to driving after drinking.
Underage drinking is a problem year-round. However, it’s an issue that becomes bigger over the summer months due to minimal school responsibilities and less adult supervision. Here’s what you can do to help prevent underage drinking this summer:
Discuss the dangers of under age drinking
Talk to your children openly and honestly about alcohol and the consequences of alcohol consumption and abuse, which include social problems, legal issues, disruptions to physical growth, alcohol poisoning, illnesses, and injuries. Talk seriously about why there are laws in place for underage drinking.
Communicate clear expectations for how you want them to behave when they are offered alcohol. As parents, listen to their questions and concerns and help guide them on how to deal with the peer pressure.
Keep teens busy
Encourage your teenagers to participate in sports, volunteer work, clubs, and summer jobs. When teenagers are occupied, they’re less likely to get bored and tempted to engage in risky behavior. Fulfilling activities and community involvement are good for their self-esteem, which will help them refuse the pressures of drinking.
Have your teens check-in
During the summer, parents tend to ease up on rules they typically enforce during the school year. After all, the kids are on break and deserve to have fun. However, it’s important to remind teenagers that they still have responsibilities at home.
If you don’t want to enforce a curfew, perhaps have them check in via text at a specific time. Teens are more likely to give in to temptation and peer pressure when they are left unsupervised for too long. A defined check-in time keeps them alert and reminds them that there is an adult monitoring them.
Talk with the professionals
Parenting teenagers can be challenging. If you’d like to talk about how to speak to your kids about alcohol consumption, reach us at 662-234-7521 or www.communicarems.org.
If you have an emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room or call
1-866-837-7521 to be connected to Communicare’s mobile crisis team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.