Underage drinking is a serious issue for parents of teenagers. When underage teenagers drink, they are more likely to make bad decisions that can endanger their lives. This is especially true for teenage drivers who can get into trouble with the law or cause a serious accident. If you are concerned about underage drinking, then here are a few tips for having a conversation with your children that can keep them out of trouble and possibly save their lives.
Keep It Conversational
Kids can hear a lecture coming from a mile away and are experts at tuning their parents out. Just because your kid may appear to be listening, does not always mean that they are involved in the conversation. Encourage their involvement by asking open-ended questions that can provide insight into their experiences and understanding of underage drinking. Then, offer guidance that appeals to their intelligence so that they can make the right decision when the time comes.
Kids often circulate myths regarding underage drinking. For example, many teens falsely believe that they will not be punished for drinking and driving because they are minors. They often tend to believe that they are invincible and that they will never be in a serious accident. Before having your conversation, consult with a Baton Rouge DWI lawyer or one local to your area that can offer some facts regarding the consequences for underage drinking. Fines, jail time and even death are just a few of the most serious consequences that can befall an underage drinker.
Practice Saying No
When talking to you, it is easy for your kids to agree not to drink. However, resisting peer pressure can be challenging. Many kids lack the confidence to stand up to their peers. Spend some time role playing possible scenarios where your child might be tempted to drink. By practicing saying no, your kids will be able to defend themselves against peer pressure. Additionally, give your kids a backup plan. If a friend attempts to drink and drive, encourage them to call you for a ride home.
After talking to your kids about underage drinking, remember that the conversation should never completely end. Be alert for changes in your kid’s social group and bring up the subject again. As your kids grow up, they will encounter new situations that can involve underage drinking. By staying involved, your kids will know that they can rely on you as a source of guidance and will be more likely to heed your advice regarding underage drinking.