As the holidays are starting to kick in, there will be more gatherings, more parties, and more opportunities to have alcohol…for adults that is…. In an atmosphere where there are many adults around that are drinking and “having fun”, how can you convince a preteen or teenager that alcohol is bad for them and can potentially ruin their life? “If the adults are doing it, and they are the example and having fun, then everything should be fine, right? There is no harm in having a drink.” WRONG! Check out this webpage from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for Teens regarding the dangers of underage drinking:
Remember to always express to your kids and younger relatives that underage drinking is extremely dangerous because a teen’s body is not fully developed, and drinking alcohol can hinder this development. Also, drinking at an age where one’s brain is under develop puts them at a higher risk for alcohol use disorder in addition to many other neurological and health-related issues.
You can even make the point that some adults should not drink because they may not be responsible enough to know how much is too much–drinking in excess is not suitable for anyone whether you are a teen (ESPECIALLY) or an adult!
Whatever you choose to say, just make sure you have the conversation! Having these talks with parents/guardians can have a significant influence on a teen’s decision to not engage in underage drinking or be pressured to do so if asked by peers… and the sooner, the better!
For conversation starters and tips, you can text the word “TALK” to 85775!