Most parents don't realize what kind of impact they will have on their child, particularly as it relates to his/her drinking habits and attitudes towards alcohol or drugs.
Some new research has recently pointed out that parents actually do have an impact on their children's views towards binge drinking, which is defined as having five or more drinks in a row – according to a new Brigham Young University study.
The research, which recently surveyed nearly 5,000 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 19 regarding their drinking habits and their relationship with their parents. The study looked at how much involvement parents really have with their kids, how diligent they are in monitoring who they hang out with and where they are. The results where not shocking:
- The teens least prone to heavy drinking had parents who scored high on both accountability and warmth.
- So-called “indulgent” parents, those low on accountability and high on warmth, nearly tripled the risk of their teen participating in heavy drinking.
- “Strict” parents – high on accountability and low on warmth – more than doubled their teen’s risk of heavy drinking.
So, what does this all mean? Parents actually will teach their children better habits if they are warm and honest with them. Making their children accountable, but not doing it from a tyrannical approach.
The statistical data also revealed that religious teens were significantly less likely to drink any alcohol. Other studies on religion have also proved that more religious families tend to have less drinking and drug use, particularly with teens under 19 years of age.
Peer influence also plays a big part in underage drinking. Teens with peers who don't drink are obviously less likely to drink then teens with friends that like to "party". Parents can play a key role in helping reduce teenage drinking by paying closer attention to who their kids are involved with.
Parents can't always stop who their kids hang out with, but parents do influence their decisions. Parents who play an active role in helping make good decisions in other aspects of their kids lives will also expect to see similar results as it relates to drinking.
For parents, prevention is key. Parents may want to take a preventative approach by having their teen take an online alcohol and drug awareness class or minor in possession class. These educational classes can be taken completely online from any location in the U.S.