As a parent one thing you should know about, and be concerned about is binge drinking. Binge drinking is a very real, very scary problem that tends to plague teens around the country. Here are some of the things every parent should know:
That it is real, and happens:
Do not be in denial about binge drinking. In order to understand it, you have to know what it is. Binge drinking is defined as when a teen has more than five drinks in a matter of a few hours. Many kinds find alcohol is readily available to them, despite the fact that the legal drinking age is 21. They can get it at parties, from their own homes sometimes, from their friends older siblings, or even parents. Drinking occurs, and just because your child is not 21 doesn’t mean they can’t find a key to the liquor cabinet, make a fake idea, or sneak into a party.
Talk to your teen about all aspects of drinking.
That your child is not immune:
The pressures to drink area out there, and most teens experience it. They may be less inclined to drink because of their upbringing, but do not think your child is immune. In fact, it is important that you take the time to talk to your child about drinking, including binge drinking. It is important that you keep track of alcohol in your own home, so that your child does not think it easy to get away with drinking even at home. You should discuss the consequences of drinking, and be prepared to step in if your child has a problem.
The health concerns attached to this behavior:
Every parent should be aware of the mental and physical risks tied to binge drinking. It has potential for long term consequences such as pregnancy, impaired organs, slowed mental processes and more. Binge drinking has been shown to wreak havoc on a teen’s mental and physical faculties, which usually leads to more serious consequences then a drink here and there. When a teen has a drink or two they may only get tipsy or buzzed, but binge drinking puts them at risk for other behaviors.
The risk of other bad behavior following:
Parents should be well aware of the “other behaviors” often associated with binge drinking. Studies have shown that teens who binge drink are more likely to drive after drinking, get in a car with someone who is drunk or otherwise impaired, become sexually active, use drugs, engage in a physical altercation, and more. Basically, regardless of their history, the chances of them doing things that are both illegal, dangerous, and immoral skyrocket.
Parents should talk to their children about the dangers of binge drinking, and pay attention to their children so that they can recognize the symptoms of alcohol abuse in their child if they are present, thus allowing them to step in during the early stages.