Peer pressure and underage drinking can be big problems for teens. In order to prepare your teen for this situation, it’s best to be upfront about the pitfalls of underage drinking.
What Your Teen Needs to Know
Peer pressure and underage drinking are genuine concerns for teens and their parents. While it might be easier to simply ignore the fact that teenage drinking happens or to leave it to the store manager to check IDs, the truth is that education and decision making starts at home.
If you talk with your teen about underage drinking and the many other kinds of peer pressure, you can help them make the best decision. Here are the main points to cover.
Drinking Is Illegal Until You’re 21
While this should be obvious to your teen, drinking is off limits per the law until they're 21.
Those who are caught drinking can also get kicked off school sports teams, plus they will likely be taken out of groups like the National Honor Society.
If your teen or his or her group should decide to drink before this age, they are risking legal ramifications as well as getting their license suspended.
Even if you’re at home and you’re not going to drive, drinking before the age of 21 is not permitted. At all.
Drinking and Driving Can Kill
Unfortunately, many deaths due to drinking and driving are happening to people who shouldn’t be drinking in the first place. Parents need to make it clear to their teens that drinking impairs coordination and decision-making abilities, which can harm not only themselves but others as well.
The fact is that drinking alters your body chemistry and the person who is drinking probably won’t even be aware of the his or her slow reactions and impaired judgment.
Drinking Can Be Addictive and Harmful
Just as with drugs, alcohol can be addictive, especially in families of alcoholics.
Needing to drink in order to get through the day is a sign that a habit has turned into an unhealthy addiction.
Alcohol also harms the liver when abused in large quantities, and while the liver does regenerate, it can't regenerate as quickly as you can drink.
Peer pressure and underage drinking are issues that teens will most likely have to face. That’s where your role as a parent is so important. If your teen knows that he or she can come to you without being chastised, your relationship will withstand many ups and downs.