Today’s society has become so liberal that there are few if any absolute right or wrongs anymore. Everything is relative to the person and circumstances. This has become increasingly confusing for children, preteens, and teenagers. Undefined lines as to what is good for us and what is not causes many to stumble. Two of many areas of which confusion arises is the abuse of drugs and alcohol to the body. Not to fret.
There are positive ways to keep your teen from going down the wrong path that leads to alcoholism and/or drug addiction. You can discuss with your teen the consequences of substance abuse, or even better – you can enroll them into substance abuse awareness class. There are online classes available, and these classes are just as effective as the live coach classes. At the same time, they give your teen a lot more privacy and they can keep their names secret from others if they want to.
One of the main causes that lead to one or both of these substance abuse problems is stress. A stressful lifestyle needs an outlet. Today it is common for the average teenager to take on too many task’s during one season. He/she may be involved in athletic sports, music, drama, and high school governmental leadership programs while trying to maintain their grades to stay on the honor roll.
While having too much idle time causes problems, over doing it causes stress that must have some sort of relief. Unfortunately, some take it by way of escape through using drugs or alcohol. While some drugs may be used to exit the real world for a very short while, other drugs may be used to alter the physical fitness of an athlete’s body. Both have the potential to lead to death. Your teens will learn more about this in any substance abuse awareness class they choose to attend ( or you choose to enroll them into).
Using alcohol is typically used to relax and unwind as a form escape of one’s circumstances for a moment. This can be masked as a form of entertainment for a while and may remain as such all of their lives with no problem. For others, it may escalate to over use and lead into poisoning one’s body from alcoholism.
So, if too much idle time can lead to problems, and business leads to need from unnatural relief, what is the answer to keeping our teenager’s drug and alcohol free?
First, keep in mind that the teenager is not an adult no matter their physical size. They are still children in quickly developing bodies that need continual guidance. A place to come to and know that they are accepted just as they are without conditions. Make sure that they know that they do not have to be an over achiever to have the positive attention and respect of their parents. If they are into too many activities at one time, help them decide which would be most beneficial for them for that season and which to pick up at a later time.
If they show no interest in anything, encourage and explore with them until he or she learns something new about themselves in regard to what they enjoy. Show them your interest in that you support whatever direction they tend to be pulled (as long as it’s a good thing). There a correlation between underage drinking and teenage theft and shoplifting.
Most would be shocked to know that Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming allow minors to consume alcohol as long as the minor is on a private, non alcohol selling premises, with parental consent.
The main thing to remember is that teenagers need the advice and guidance of an adult whether they ask for it or not. The trick is to help guide them in such a way that they almost think it’s all their own idea. That is possible if you are truly helping them discover their own strengths and weaknesses. Help them maintain a healthy balance between over exertion and laziness. If they maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle, there will be no need for substance abuse.
You should also encourage them to attend drugs and alcohol awareness classes or minor in possession (MIP Classes), by telling them that there is no shame in attending such a class. After all, it is for their own good to learn about the dangers and dire consequences of substance abuse. Asking them to attend such classes online will not make you look like a bad parent – you will actually prove that you are a responsible one.