When your teen has been caught drinking

It can be shocking to find out that your child has consumed alcohol-The one who was drinking Bournvita two days ago !. You definitely need an intervention if you have caught your child drinking. But how you do it is important.

Do not Overreact: First, do not overreact and freak yourself and your child out. Compose yourself and state matter of fact that you disapprove of this behaviour and that you need to have a talk about this. Let your child stew in it for a couple of days. In the meantime, you also figure out your speech in your head of what exactly you are going to say.

Talk (Not Rant): Find the right time to talk to your kid when you think he/she might be more receptive. Take him out for a walk or for coffee. If you live in a large family , definitely take your kid out for a private talk. Start by stating that you do not approve of it even from the simple point of view that drinking under the age of 21 is illegal in most states. Instead of lecturing them from a higher ground, express to them your deeper concerns about drinking – How it clouds judgement, how it makes you lose control and the potentially dangerous situations, it can land you in !

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In today’s age with so much media portrayal of night life and alcohol consumption, the truth of the matter is, irrespective of whether you consume alcohol or not, portraying it as the devil’s drink will not get you much mileage. You will be dismissed as archaic. Instead, get them to empathise with you on your concerns and ask for their opinions and thoughts on the issue. Ask them if peer pressure is causing this. See how the both of you can help him/her not get into such a situation again. Also it has been shown that kids who are raised with a strictly “no drinking” policy tend to stay off alcohol or even when they drink, drink very less rather than having parents who are “cool” about this.

Just Beer: If your teenager who is coming back from a “Sweet 16” party is trying to brush it off lightly saying “Mom it was just a beer or a breezer. Everyone was drinking”. Do not accept these excuses. No alcohol means NO alcohol and NO underage drinking.

Open the door when your kid gets home: If your kid comes home late from hanging out with friends, make sure you open the door no matter what time it is so that they know that you will be waiting for them and you could smell their breath. Don’t give your kid a key and ask them to let themselves in! Kids who know their parents are waiting, tend to stay off alcohol, studies show.

Establish a firm consequence: Let your child know that if this happens again the consequences would be severe. Emphasise that you are trusting your child to be smart about his choices in life. If you are a person who drinks, assure him/her that he can have a drink with you when he turns 21 (or whatever the rule is in your state).

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