How to Address Your Teen and Alcohol

When it comes to being a parent the teenage years can be compared to the terrible twos. They’re unpredictable, they throw fits, they have huffy silences and depending on the day it’s either the parent or the child in the role. Who can blame you for getting angry, short or impatient with your teen when they tend to be moody, angry and short fused? Learning to parents a teen is a bit like dealing with a three-headed dog but the good news is, you are not alone. You may need help form a professional alcohol counseling Los Angeles.

Learning how to broach different topics with your teen can make forging a stronger relationship easier. It’s been well documented that alcohol can have serious effects on the developing brains and bodies of teenagers. It also can lead them to unsafe environments and situations. Yet, as you know drinking alcohol is seen by many young adults as a write of passage in their high school years. Understanding how to talk to your teen about alcohol can make them aware of the risks associated with it.

Why do teens choose to drink?

It’s incredibly easy to write off teen drinking as the act of being rebellious in your youth. It’s not hard to find a parent these days that go involved in drinking as a teenager. Yet, have we are parents taken the time to consider exactly why (apart from ‘rebellion’) that our teens choose to drink at such a young age? One of the biggest factors that you will find plays a part in teen drinking is peer pressure. A teen can feel immense pressure to keep in line with the activities of their friends, especially when it comes to elicit behaviors like drinking, they just want to fit in and be accepted. What’s worse is the influence your teen is approached with through media outlets like TV, films, pop culture and social media.

Teens may even find that drinking becomes their routine escape from the pressures they face in school or their social lives. They can and will use alcohol as a distraction tact that pulls them away from their worries. Some parents and adults have a tendency to forget that the life of a teenager isn’t easy. Their problems may seem trivial compared to an adult that has to pay bills, raise kids, keep up a home and hold a job. However, you’re dealing with a young adult and treating their problems and worries as those of an adult will only help to ensure that they create healthy coping mechanisms. Brushing off your teen’s problems as ‘teenager issues’ may only push them further into inappropriate coping strategies.

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Does drinking affect my teen’s health?

When raising a child you know that in their younger years they’re as pliable and resistant as rubber. They fall and scrape a knee but are right back in the action playing with friends. A young body can bounce back more quickly than an older one. You may be recalling when you suddenly started having sore knees or a chronic back pain in your thirties and forties. It was then that you had to admit to yourself that you’re ‘not as young as you once were’.

You may think that teen drinking won’t have a very adverse effect on teenagers. Drinking for teenagers has a few worrisome effects. The short term includes things such as bad skin, bad breath, and weight gain. The long term is more damaging on the young developing brain. It’s been found that those who drink heavily under the age of 20 develop abnormalities in the brain with areas that deal with reasoning, and interpersonal interactions. Alcohol also has a tendency to lower the individual’s inhibitions which means the chance for unnecessary risk-taking.

How do I discuss alcohol with my teen

Finding ways of having discussing alcohol with your teen might be seen as hard but it’s all about being direct. Sit down with your teenager and have a calm, honest and open discussion about drinking (preferably before they have started). You might find that your teen is open to the discussion or you could be dealing with hostility. Your teen may question your teenage years (whether you drank) or take aim at your current level of drinking. You should be honest about your experience with drinking at a young age and express that large amounts of alcohol can be harmful to anyone. You should also ensure that they understand the risks and dangers of drinking. You want you teen to know that you’re not reprimanding then or attempting to be hypocritical about drinking. You don’t want this discussion to seem like a pointless “my parents are mean” lecture. Allow your child to ask questions and assure them that you can be and should be their first point of contact when they have an issue or problem they want to discuss. Tell them that alcohol use may just be a way for them to deal with their problems but shouldn’t be a solution.

If you would like to explore the option of alcohol counseling Los Angeles in solo or group therapy you can trust the professionals at Insight Treatment. We have years of experience in treating teens who deal with alcohol and drug abuse. We also counsel teens for mental health and other problem areas. If you would like to learn more about our admissions process or programs please reach out at (888) 295-9995 today.