Teens Drinking

It’s the moment so many parents of teens dread, the day they think they can smell alcohol on their child’s breath. They’re not sure which would be worse – for the child to admit it and justify themselves or to deny but leave the doubting parent whether the misbehaviour has now been increased by dishonesty and deception.

In the past and even now, the majority of Indian parents have believed these were the nightmares of ‘western’ parents. However, the evidence from this recent survey is that large numbers of urban parents have a harsh reality to come to terms with, happening right now. Not only does this survey show that large numbers of youngsters are involved, but they’re pushing the drinking to the extremes to ‘get high’, indulging in what has come to be known as ‘binge’ drinking – high risk activity.

45% of class XII students booze 5-6 times a month

The reality that people in the west came to understand over the last 30 years or so is that it is impossible to identify which are the children/ youngsters who will be able to start down this route and keep a control on it, and which will be the ones where suddenly all aspects of life will start ‘coming apart’ and their life slipping out of control. Who can stop the drinking when they want to? Who can limit the risk taking to drinking alone, without getting tempted in to other high risk behaviours; unprotected sexual activities, driving while drunk or indulging in narcotics and hard drugs?

There is no way to know, no way to tell. It’s like a big game of Russian roulette with high stakes. The celeb idiots trotting in and out of rehab every 5 minutes set all the wrong signals – it’s not that easy and they are really stupid people!!

I am a firm believer that you can’t tackle issues like this in isolation. The safest young person will be one who has strong self-identity, clarity about what it is they want to achieve in life, ability to discern between short term hedonistic ‘thrill’ against long term life aims, conviction around their core values and an excitement level attached to their right and ability to be/ do remarkable in their lifetime.

As parents and educators, these must be our aims for our children.

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2 Responses

  1. But you see, in modern society, alcohol is a part of everyday adult life. And it is a fact that teens and young adults will be introduced to it at some time or the other. What parents need to do is make this introduction as easy and un-traumatic as possible. If you ask me, the best way to reduce illegal alcohol consumption by teens is to tell and show them what it does. Give them the freedom of experimenting with it in a controlled environment. Let them quench their curiosity and learn on their mistakes which are allowed and controlled by parents.

    Peace

    Anonymous…

    • I don’t normally accept ‘anonymous’ posts to the blog, but on this subject I can understand the reasons why the person might choose to remain so. On the basis that the comment made is a valid point of view, held by many, and reasonably expressed – I’m willing to waive the ‘anonymity’ rule.

      The research suggested that a dangerously high proportion of the teen drinking was ‘to get high’, suggesting binge drinking. One argument in Europe has been that UK suffers far more from binge drinking because of the taboo nature of drinking below certain ages, whereas, in continental Europe a slower, social drinking model reflects more libertarian upbringing for children.

      What do people feel?

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