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.
We don’t drink at all in our family. Our kids may have tried it and decided on their own it just wasn’t worth it. We raised good kids and now adults.
This is a very important topic that we often neglect and we have all been teens with pressure to drink and have all consumed like you said, before the drinking age. So yes, this is a topic of discussion you definitely should have at the dinner table with your children. I definitely agree with this.
I am so glad I never binge drink when I was younger, always being socialable. It is a subject which needs to be brought up more.
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Educating children is not just being strict to them, it is letting them do those things and make them know what are the limitations and possible consequences of doing certain things.
I have one child that is in his 20’s and a second who will be graduating this year. We have always been open with our kids about drinking. Thankfully this is not a subject we of concern for us. Neither of my children have been enamored with the party lifestyle or binge drinking.
This is so true! I was a huge drinker in school and it led to so many other things that most kids would regret.
We don’t really drink, but I am also more for educating and preparing, than sheltering. I think knowledge can be power.
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Very great topic! I educated my kids early! Binge drinking is a real problem, will damage their future!
Thankfully my daughter is not there yet. I appreciate for the moment that she seems to have no interest in drinking whatsoever. But I know the peer pressure will come. I just hope to prepare her and help her have the kind of back bone she will need to say no to all the people offering.
This is a great post. I do believe the parents should educate their children on binge drinking or any drinking for that matter. Educating our children about drinking can indeed help them help someone else. We as parents only hope our children will make the right decisions when they are faced with them. Thanks for sharing the information.
This is really worth reading. I totally agree with you that we really have to educate kids and give them a heads up about the consequences of binge drinking. I think the best way to teach is to set a good example.
Underage drinking is very common. Our 19 year old son goes to his friends’ house for parties all the time, and we always remind him to be smart about drinking. It really is important to educate your kids about these dangers.
This is a very informative post. Binge drinking is a big problem and can damage their future.
My kids have someone who is close to them that is a recovering alcoholic. I’ve always been open and honest with them and this is a topic that is and will always be discussed.
It is so important to educate your kids about this. They are so vulnerable to it once they enter college.
Educating is the best way! My son and I always have talks about these things….
I have a long time to go before I have to deal with teenagers but trying to teach them to be responsible people and not give in to peer pressure or stupidity when it comes to drink and drugs is something I’m going to try my best to do.
My son is still in elementary, but I am already planning for Highschool up to College. My husband and I are doing our best to install proper manners to help him through life when we’re gone. Drinking is not yet part of it since he is still young, but thanks for this reminder, I will make sure to teach him about it when he’s old enough.
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So important although I am not looking forward to these older teen days. Mine is only in middle school now and the things i hear the kids talk about is crazy
This is going to be tough for me. My oldest is only 8 but both my husband and I grew up differently. My mom wanted me to be open with her. I lived at college, so she knew there wasn’t much she could do to stop me, but she wanted to know when I went. SO I told her, hey Mom, I’m going ‘out’ tonight. She felt better always knowing where I was, and actually, I was a lot more behaved than most of my friends because of this. My husband, on the other hand, had to sneak out of his house to get around his parents. We grew up differently when it comes to this, so I think we may have to play good cop bad cop when it comes to our kids getting older. LOL
I can relate in two ways. In one way, I can relate to this because I am a young. I come from a background that never restricted me from drinking, but instead educated me. From this background, I never binge drank like the rest of my friends and I was often a DD for others who did do this drinking. My husband was raised the opposite. He was told not to drink at all until he was 21 years old. This strategy back-fired obviously and he found him self making bad decisions at parties often. Now as a parent, I will absolutely be educating my children. I want them to be able to come to me for things like this and know that I was their age too. If they handle situations like I did, I will feel successful in raising them in this way. People absolutely do need to read the entire article before shooting this idea down. Interesting and unique read. Thank you for writing!
I only have a four year old so thankfully I don’t have to worry about this for awhile but it is definitely something that I will in the future ! My sisters best friend , who’s family is close to ours, was tragically killed by a drunk driver on her way home from her senior prom . My other sister was also hit by a drunk driver but thankfully was not severely injured . This is a huge problem in the small town where I grew up . There isn’t much for teenagers to do there so a lot of them drink . It is a hard subject to talk about but must be ! Thank you for this post!
My son is still just a baby, but I still worry about everything that he could do as a teenager/young adult. I hope that I can advocate for safe-drinking habits when he is older just like you are doing. Thank you for this very honest, and very true, post!
It’s so important to talk to your kids about drinking and about the possibility of addiction too if that runs in your family. I definitely worry about having these conversations with my kids in the future but I’m not going to shy away from them!
Thanks for the advice and tips, this will come handy in the future, we are all aware that all our kids will go thru this stage as well it is better to be prepared. Anyways you should check this as well this one is interesting also https://www.sobermansestate.com/