Unlike adults, young people are more willing to risk. It is very tempting for them to examine their own limits, which is part of the growing up. The big part is played by the pressure of the group. Young people are convinced that they will be better accepted by their peers if they drink with them. Problematic consumption of alcohol in adolescence increases the risk of subsequent addiction development.
What can parents do?
Talk and listen carefully to your teenager – it’s the biggest support you can give him. Talk to your teenager about alcohol in a peaceful way. In this story, it is also important to listen carefully! Your teenager will have his own story and beliefs about alcohol. You need to hear them. Use everyday occasions to start a topic, scenes from movies or TV series, as well as newspaper articles. Express your feelings about underage drinking very clearly. Spend time with your teenager, for example, if he is involved in sports go to the match together and remember, be always available for answering any life regarding questions.
Determine clear family rules. Be clear about what is allowed and what is not by considering the rules with everyone. Determine the time that a child must arrive home and do not deviate from it. Identify the consequences (punishment) for violating the rules and hold them firmly, but do not use empty threats or impose too many harsh penalties. Be reasonable. Always be reasonable. If you protect your child too much you are not preparing him/her for a real world nor you are letting your child experience glimpses of adulthood like other children can. It is not about control. It is about guidance.
And of course, be a model! If you drink alcohol, be responsible. Think about your drinking, how much and why you are drinking, and whether you need to reduce it. It is also important that you know exactly what amount of alcohol you have in the house and regularly control it. Remember, your child sees what you are doing and it affects the messages you give him about alcohol.