This is the time of year that Seniors are finishing up their final classes in High School. They are looking forward to going off to College and all the experiences this will afford them. The kids are no longer going to be at home. They won’t have the “My roof, my rules” rule of the parents. There will be no curfew. These teens, for all intents and purposes? Are getting ready to spread their wings and fly the nest. But, we’ve done everything in our powers to make sure they are ready. That they won’t crash and burn. I’m talking about teaching our kids the danger of binge drinking.
We were teens once. We’re no angels when it comes to underage drinking. At least a good percentage of us! I can promise you, 80% of teens have already had drinks at high school parties they’ve gone to. Unfortunately, not all teens are educated on safe drinking. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m advocating teen drinking. I assure you, that is the furthest thing from the truth. I didn’t get drunk for the first time until I was in my 20’s. Sure, I had drinks at college parties. But I never got drunk. Teaching our kids the danger of binge drinking is not advocating for them to drink. It’s educating them on not going too far.
We want to educate our kids, without making it sound fun. Let them know, “I understand you’re going to drink, but don’t be stupid about it”. You restrict them, and it becomes the forbidden fruit. And well, we all know where that leads to. Let them know that they can call you if they’ve had a drink. They need to understand there will be consequences of course. But they will wait until they’ve recovered. Consequences can vary depending on how many drinks they’ve had. One drink, privileges taken for a day. Flat out drunk, grounded for a month.
With that said, show them videos of what happens with drinking and driving. Pull up the statistics of how many teens died because of alcohol. When they go out the door to what you know is a party, tell them to have fun and “Don’t be stupid”. However, not all parties will have alcohol and are supervised by parents
But, there are going to be parties where parents are out for the night, or gone for the weekend. Those parties we won’t know about. There will be parties out in open fields that may be owned by someone, but not monitored. Those parties we won’t know about. But teaching our kids the danger of binge drinking instead of sticking our heads in the sand gives them a chance. A chance to make the decision of one or two beers over guzzling a funnel from the keg.
We are giving our kids a chance by educating them. When they go off to college, they will make it back to their dorm rooms safely.
With this also comes the need to teach them the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. If your teen is the one who knows and cares about the dangers, they will be able to help others if they know the symptoms. They will know that they were able to save another person’s life by being aware of the dangers. They won’t later live with the regret that they could have helped someone. People think it’s funny when others get stupid drunk. Sure, it can be funny. I don’t deny that.
Sorry, I love Harry Potter. Had to use that one.
In conclusion, it boils down to how much we are educating our kids. How much are we teaching our kids about the danger of binge drinking? Are we protecting them, or stifling them? Are we allowing them to grow up making good choices?
What are your thoughts? How did you help prepare your teens for college life, (aka freedom) including parties, if they’re already off to college, or past that age? If you have teens, how are you helping them to get ready to fly the coup?
I know this is a controversial topic. No one wants to think their children would do this, or that harm will come to them. Unfortunately for one set of parents in Dearborn, MI, they may have thought the same but are having to bury their child due to his alcohol-related death. My heart absolutely breaks for them. No parent should have to bury a child.
But, if I am able to bring this topic to my blog and prevent even one death because another parent took this to heart and educated their teen? I can stand the wrath that some may throw at me because they didn’t read the whole post. They may think I’m advocating teen drinking. Then consider me controversial and throw it at me.