While you might have thought that the majority of your parenting would take place when your kids were little, your children still need you to help lead and guide them well into their teen years, and sometimes even beyond.
One very important principle that you should be teaching your kids as they become teens and young adults is the concept of drinking responsibly. To help you know just how you can begin doing this, here are three things to teach your teens about being responsible when drinking alcohol in the future.
Underage Drinking Is Not Okay
Depending on where in the world you live, your teen likely won’t be able to drink until they’re at least a few years older than they are now. And while you or your teen might not think that sticking to this age restriction is a big deal, the fact of the matter is that drinking when you’re underage is illegal.
According to DrugFree.org, parents who allow their kids to drink when they’re underage, even if it’s under the guise of supervision, have been found to have kids who are more likely to drink heavily, have future alcohol-related problems, and participate in unsafe behaviors. So while you might have thought that exposing your teen to alcohol won’t cause them any harm, the opposite tends to be true. Because of this, it’s important that you always reiterate that underage drinking is not okay.
Never Drink and Drive
Once your child reaches the legal age where he or she can start drinking alcohol, they should have been taught from very early on that they should never drink and drive. Not only could this put them and others in physical danger, but it could also cause them a lot of legal problems if they get arrested for a DWI.
In addition to teaching your kids not to drive after they’ve been drinking, you should also teach them not to get in the car as a passenger if they know or believe that the person driving has been drinking.
According to Temma Ehrenfeld, a contributor to Psychology Today, 20 percent of high school teens who have reported to drink heavily also reported that they’ve gotten in the car with a driver who’s been drinking heavily as well. To ensure no harm comes to your teen, teach them to never put themselves in this type of situation.
Be A Good Example Of Responsible Drinking
To effectively teach your kids what being a responsible drinker looks like, you’re going to want to be the model of responsible behavior when you drink. To best do this, Alcohol.org recommends that you show them how moderate alcohol consumption can be safe when done by responsible adults.
If you’re unsure how to best keep your teens from becoming heavy drinkers, now or later on in life, consider using the tips mentioned above to help guide them to be responsible drinkers.