Approaching your teenager about underage drinking and drinking and driving can be very difficult. In fact, most parents would rather face an IRS auditor than confront their teen about irresponsible choices. Most teens either become defensive or aggravated when you approach these types of subjects causing some parents to become frustrated and give up.
The truth is, your teen is listening and what you say will have an impact on them. Although you may be nervous about approaching your teen, you must make sure your position is very clear in their minds. The process may not be pleasant, but is the alternative risk worth it? Listed below are some candid, yet creative options that will serve as a permanent reminder for your teen to avoid underage drinking and the bad behavior that could come along with it.
- Attend An Alcoholic Anonymous Meeting. Call ahead to make sure that the leader of the group is aware of and open to you bringing your teen. Most will be pleased to help a young person view alcohol from a different perspective and make sure that some of their most moving stories are brought to your teen’s attention. Let your teen see first-hand what happens when alcohol takes over a person’s life.
- Take A Tour Of The Jail. Known by some as “scared straight,” this program takes teens through the local jail and shows them what life behind bars is really like. This is a very real and distasteful experience for your teen, but it gives them a reason to think twice before making the decision to drink, which could lead to breaking the law.
- Visit A DUI Attorney. Have a quality attorney from a firm like Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP talk to your teen about what happens when you are arrested for DUI and what the punishments are if convicted. Sometimes hearing these facts from someone with actual experience in this area will make your teen understand the seriousness of this type of behavior.
- Go To A Rehabilitation Center For Teens. Take your teen to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center and allow them to interact with other kids their age that have alcohol issues. It may be very emotional for your teen to see their peers in such a state, but it will have a lasting impact.
- Drunken Diver Horror Stories. Confront your teen with some real life information about drunk driving accident. The Internet a great resource to find news stories of teens that lost their lives or caused the loss of another life due to underage drinking. Be blunt and let them know you do not want them to be a statistic.
In the end, the most important thing that you can do is make sure you do something. Your teen needs to know how you feel about them and their choices. By ignoring the very real issue of underage drinking or believing that your child knows better, you are risking heartache.Most teens act as if they do not need their parent’s guidance, but this is the farthest thing from the truth. Teens need their parents to guide their thoughts and tell them what to do. Making the right decisions takes practice. The transition into a mature, responsible adult does not happen by chance. Without your involvement, your teen will be left to deal with social pressures alone and are one step closer to falling victim to your parental fears.
Freelance author J.L. Williams appreciates sharing information which can help make life less stressful for others. She routinely researches information from sites like that of Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP for the purposes of providing valuable legal information to readers.