Parental Expectations Most Important Factor In Child’s Decision to Drink Alcohol

Parental Expectations Most Important Factor In Child’s Decision to Drink Alcohol

This is the second installment of a blog series that will dispel the 10 most common and stubborn myths parents believe about exposing children to alcohol. Big, fat myth #2:

It is unrealistic to believe my child will never drink in high school or at least try it with friends.  It’s important that we don’t take on our teen’s worldview in the matter of substance use – kids need adults to have a different perspective than their peers in order to feel like someone is in charge.  Parents who see alcohol and other drug use as normal, understandable or inevitable will almost certainly have children who use – their own parents don’t believe they can or should abstain.  The “everybody’s doing it” idea is simply not true. Drinkers have more visibility and seem to get more microphone time, but solid research shows us that the majority of teens are making sound, healthy decisions regarding alcohol and other drugs, they are just not as loud about their lives! Experiencing “wild sobriety” every weekend is not a sexy story to tell at the cafeteria table. National Studies have proven that teens who receive a firm, loving non-use message at home are significantly less likely to engage in substance use of any kind.  It’s hard to get resentful when your parent says, “Darling, you are my Hope Diamond and I could never replace you – my job is to make sure you are safe, which is why I am so interested in where you are going and who you are with.”  Parents who focus on the health and safety issues have more success, as this is rooted in love and concern, rather than judgment.  All research points to parental involvement as being the single most important factor in an adolescent’s relationship to alcohol.  Drug free kids cite parental disappointment as the #1 reason for their choice not to use. Our goal is not to make sure that our child never drinks in their lifetime; we are hoping to postpone drinking as long as possible.   When people have acquired a complete set of cognitive, social and coping skills, they will be ready to approach alcohol reasonably as an adult.

Tune in next week for big, fat myth #3: Since teens are going to drink no matter what we say, we might as well have them drink at our homes where we can keep an eye on them and take the car keys away

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. I liked this. It makes sense and it is a very loving message. It says to a teen. I love you and want you to be safe. I want to see you grow up and be all you can be.

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