Kids Don’t Need To Practice Drinking For College

Kids Don’t Need To Practice Drinking For College

This is the fifth installment of a blog series that will dispel the 10 most common and stubborn myths parents believe about exposing children to alcohol. This time we will tackle big, fat myth #6: Teens need to practice drinking in high school so they learn their limits early and don’t go wild in college…



Heavy drinking in high school increases limits (tolerance) in a dangerous way and can prevent teens from developing the very skills necessary for an emotionally healthy adult life. High school students need to practice living, not drinking, in order to be ready for college. Young people who are “prepared” for college life have mastered the crucial tasks of adolescence – they are able to deal with disappointment, boredom and joy.  They know how to regulate their moods and manage their feelings without alcohol – this is how they gain the maturity to drink alcohol safely.   Surveys show that many college students are making low risk choices around alcohol, but nobody is writing articles or showing newscasts about them.  Research reveals that the students who fall apart drinking in college are the ones who brought a drinking problem with them from high school.  When the fences that kept them somewhat under control in high school fall away and they are free to drink they way they always dreamed of…that’s when disaster strikes.  Binge drinking doesn’t really begin on college campuses, it’s continued in a more reckless way.  I believe that the many students I meet who are making good decisions in high school continue to make good decisions in college – even if they dabble in alcohol, it is not going to make or break them, as they are already fairly complete when they arrive.

Tune in next week for big, fat myth #7: My son/daughter is a good kid – I trust him/her to do the right thing when away from the family

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for all of this information Brenda. It’s sort of common sense when you read your argument against it, but so many parents hear this point of view and don’t know how to respond.

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