Helping Kids Make Good Choices
The biggest reason why kids drink is peer pressure. Your child might encounter peer pressure through: A direct suggestion to drink alcohol Peers who accept and encourage risky behavior Over-estimation of how many other kids do it
Your child might be told: Come on, everyone has tried it. If you won’t drink with us, then why are you hanging out with us? It’s part of growing up My parents aren’t home, so no one will know. We drank once before, so what’s the problem now? You’ll have an incredible time if you do. Come on, take a drink. It will get you in the mood. You’ve been working too hard. You deserve to party. Get Behind 21 Numerous studies show the 21 drinking age law has reduced underage drinking and saved thousands of lives. Research in the U.S. and Europe has never shown any benefit to drinking at a younger age or that teens could be safely “taught” to drink. On the contrary, they show that attempting to teach teens to drink results in increased binge drinking.
Talk with your child how friends and adults they respect might react if they knew he or she had been drinking. Helping your child consider how others might feel can have important influences on their choices. TIP
You can’t completely protect your child from peer pressure, but by teaching them to make good choices and by supervising and monitoring activities, you can help shield your son or daughter from the most dangerous situations. DEALING WITH PEER PRESSURE Sometimes, kids face situations where they are pressured to do something they would rather not do. For example, a friend might push your child to have a drink when your son or daughter doesn’t want to.
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