Did you know that when a teen admits to drinking, they aren't admitting to drinking the same way an adult drinks? Teens chronically are binge drinking. Binge drinking is much more dangerous than casual/social drinking. This article explains the dangers of binge drinking and how to talk to your child about their drinking habits!
What's a parent to do? SAMHSA recommends to "Talk. They Hear You.", with the following goals in mind:
- Voice your Values. Over 80% of kids 10-18 say parents have the biggest impact on their decision on whether to drink, so decide upon your family values and communicate your expectations to them. Keep in mind this can also include clever ways to help them get out of tricky peer pressure situations as discussed in this article!
- Show you care. Keep calm and neutral while stressing the short-term consequences on your child's growing brain, social standing and academic performance.
- Show you are informed. Teach them about alcohol and how it affects their growing body. Read below for some good info to share with your student.
- Help them resist peer pressure. Agree on a word or phrase he or she can use to have you pick them up, no questions asked. Come up with 5 excuses they can use to refuse a drink. This article has some excellent suggestions!
Three Things To Remind Your Students About Alcohol:
- Alcohol affects you, even if you don't feel it. How fast alcohol affects you is influenced by many things, including your weight, how much you've eaten, how fast you drink and even changes in your hormones that happen during the month. Even if you aren't slurring your words or stumbling, alcohol is causing changes in how you act and react.
- The only thing that will sober you up is time. Coffee, cold showers, exercise or other "cures" will not speed up how fast your body gets rid of the alcohol. Know this when your friends want to do shots or play drinking games. It takes one hour for a 100 lb. girl to metabolize 1 oz. of alcohol.
- Have a plan. Remember that some of your friends may want to say no, too - support them. Ideas: Offer to be the designated driver. Carry the same drink around all night; pouring some down the bathroom sink. Have Fasten or your parents ready to call for a ride.
Don't be a afraid to talk to your kids - they are listening and they DO want your support!
Often times an easy location to binge drink is on the party bus/limo ride over to dinner, the game, or the after party. Here are some tips on what to look out for if your child is celebrating with a party bus!
We also want to remind parents (and their teens) about services like Uber, Lyft, Fasten, Yellow Cab, and BeMyDD because there is no "good" reason to drink and drive OR be a passenger in a car when someone else has been drinking!
Homecoming CAN be an amazing, memorable, fun, and safe time. Make sure you are talking with your teen so that they can enjoy this homecoming and future events too!
Kristi Waidhofer and Katie Bryant