The problem of teenage alcohol abuse is a matter of concern for even the most assured parents. When your child becomes a teenager, he/she is longing for self-assertion. He/she needs to maintain a status and recognition amongst children of his/her age. A child strivesto grow up as soon as possible. Drinking alcohol is one of the ways they try to look grown-up. Alcohol drinking in teenage company takes is considered to be a form growing up and toughness as compared to people of the same age. Some parents consider teenage alcohol abuse to be a natural period of maturation which every child should go through and which will come to a halt in the future. But, is this really the case?
There may be some truth in this statement, but scientists who study alcohol abuse acknowledge that there is a genetic predisposition to it. That is why a child with certain genetic heredity may become addicted to alcohol even at such a young age. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that children who drank alcohol before the age of15,developed alcohol problems 4 times more often than those who did not drink alcohol.
The reasons for Teenage Alcohol Abuse
There are several factors which may lead to teenage alcohol abuse.
Unfavorable family situation
The source of many problems is the family of the child. Relationships between a child and parents are not very good. Either parents drink alcohol themselves or they did not enforce alcohol drinking rules to their children. Constant stress at home and at school, plus a lack of encouragement from parents may lead to teenage alcoholism.
Parents are the prime role models for their children not only in childhood. Teenagers often try to emulate their parents’ behavior in their own lives. Teenagers strive to grow up faster and for that reason, try to use every indicator of maturity. Alcohol abuse, smoking, and sexual intercourse are a few activities that seem to make them look older.
You should be a good role model for your teenager to help to avoid a lot of problems in the future.
Friends and acquaintances that drink alcohol
Friends and acquaintances of your child may also play a vital role in teenage alcohol abuse. The company which a teenager keeps often drinks alcohol, smokes, etc. If a child wants to affirm himself/herself, he/she will follow the behaviors of this company, especially if he/she is younger than the others. Everything may begin with drinking low volumes of alcohol, but later a child will try stronger drinks which may rapidly lead to alcohol addiction.
Keep an eye on your child’s friends.The best way to avoid negative influence of friends is to teach your child to be independent and responsible for his/her own actions.
A lot of free time outside the school
Some teenagers start drinking alcohol after school when their parents are not at home yet. They think that alcohol will help them relax after school and spend their free time merrily. It might be accidentally for the first time, but soon it develops into a habit, and then this habit develops into actual alcohol addiction. This all happens without the child even noticing.
Parents should be aware of their children’s free time. They should encourage out-of-school activities, sport, and all kinds of hobbies which children may be interested in. Time is our most prized possession. Teach your children to use their time inthe right way.
Stereotypes of drinking alcohol from films, advertisement and Internet
Teenagers may mimic many negative examples from films. TV and Internet advertisements may give a teenager the idea that drinking low volume alcohol drinks with friends is enjoyable and nice. But too often, a child does not see the distinction between acceptable and improper. It is parents who should form their attitudes toward alcohol, not advertisements. Remember that all big things begin with something small, and that is why parents should do their best to prevent their children from becoming addicted to alcohol.
What signs of teenage behavior may indicate alcohol addiction?
Visible signs of Teenage Alcohol Abuse
- Smell of booze
- incoherent speech
- loss of coordination in movement
- red flush of the eyes and the face
Non visible signs of teenage alcohol abuse
- frequent absence from home
- constant violation of the curfew established by parents
- reserved behavior
- loss of valuables
- apathy to everything that once were interesting for your child
- loss of appetite
- aggressive behavior
Non visible signs may not only point out alcohol addiction, but may also indicate drug addiction .
Dear parents, be attentive to your children . Teenage alcohol abuse may lead your children to an unhappy life. The parents' task is to prevent teenage alcoholism in the initial stages of its development.