Your child is an adolescent. You do not accompany him to parties and do not pick him up from school anymore. But there has already been a situation when your teen is visibly drunk after an event. What is the best way to handle this situation?
18 is the minimum drinking age in Latvia; however, we cannot be naive – it starts in the early teens. Teens want to look and behave like adults and drinking often seems the best way to fit in with the group and prove yourself: I drink, so I’ve been able to buy alcohol, ergo I’m an adult.
It is because of this that parents need to know how to talk to their children about alcohol. Prohibition can only achieve protest. Negotiations and understanding are required, as well as sufficient action.
In any case, the parents’ example is very important for children. You will not teach a teen that drinking is harmful if you do not practice what you preach. Your child needs to know the most important facts about alcohol – what it means to drink too much and how to say no to alcohol.
Where’s the problem?
It must be remembered that, biologically speaking, alcohol clearly harms teenagers more than adults. As adolescents have a lower body weight and are not used to drinking, they get drunk very quickly. In the ideal case, children should not drink alcohol until at least the age of 15. In reality, however teenagers use alcohol and do so at an early age, drinking more and more often. Eight of ten 15-year olds admit that they’ve tried alcohol at least once. Half of 16-17-year olds drink at least once a week. This trend is alarming.
According to a UK study, children who had alcohol for the first time at home and found out about its negative effects from their parents are less likely to drink excessively than those who started drinking when experimenting with peers.
Parents are often unaware of the age at which they should talk about alcohol and, more importantly, how to do it. The good news is that children find their parents’ opinion to be important, and that it is better to talk about the issue at an early age.
What to Do?