Many teenagers fall prey to alcohol addiction due to negative peer pressure. Read on to know how to help your child deal with peer pressure and alcohol addiction.
An adolescent is still at a developing stage and if he starts underage drinking, there are possibilities that his memory will get affected, his decision making and judgment faculties will get crippled and he will lose his natural ability to learn. Until the age of twenty-one, the body is in a continuous developmental stage. Alcoholism has a long lasting effect on a teen’s body and the results are more or less immediate. Peer pressure
is one of the main reasons behind teen alcoholism. Early drinking also leads to a rapid decline in academics due to poor learning prowess and retention.
How Does It Begin?
Like all other negative activities related to peer pressure, alcoholism also stems from the desire to belong to the group. For a teenager, it is extremely important to be considered as a part of the peer group. Sometimes it is coerced by the peer members and sometimes it is a voluntary decision of the teen to give into drinking. This is again a form of indirect peer pressure. In an attempt to be accepted into the peer group, the teen adopts the habit. He is also made to feel that this is something that provides excitement and sublime enjoyment and it is also projected as a means to bond within the group. One can also get into the habit with a mere desire to experiment or simply experience the ‘pleasure’.
How Can Teenagers Deal with Peer Pressure and Alcohol?
Here is how you can help your child to deal with peer pressure and alcohol.
Teach Chidl to Make Intelligent Choices
Here it is important for the parents to condition the kid. Teach the child that there are a host of choices available before them and it is their sole discretion on what they choose. Tell them that one is responsible for their actions and thereby it is necessary and beneficial to their own well-being that they make intelligent choices. There is no point in getting into a habit that can potentially damage their physical and psychological health. They need to choose a peer group where alcoholism is not a group activity.
He needs to be provided with some basic facts. Tell them the possible outcomes if one happens to be an underage drinker. It is also beneficial if you could hold a session with your doctor who can provide the teen with some basic facts and explain it in a manner that will be easily comprehended by the teen.
As a parent when you set the rules and restrictions, you also need to talk about them to the kid so that he understands their implications. Do not adopt an autocratic approach. Explain to the kid the reasons why you are setting a rule like no alcohol till a certain age or so. Teach the kid that values are important they need to be followed.
Teach Them The Art Of Saying a ‘No’
Teach your teen that when they are saying a ‘no’ they are upholding their values and there is no reason to feel guilty about it. Many teens feel that if they do not give in to the peer pressure, they will be perceived as weak individuals. You need to explain to them that in reality, an individual who has the courage and conviction to stand up for his values and does not compromise them under pressure is a confident person. It is a mark of self-esteem which calls for appreciation.
Teach them that there are several ways in which they can effectively deal with peer pressure and alcohol. For instance they can politely refuse a drink by saying “no thanks!” or ask for an alternative drink like soda. Teach them that they need not make any excuses but drive the point that alcohol is just not his thing and refuse it.