It’s the summer months, and the teens are out of school. But what are they doing? Studies have shown that the summer months can lead to a substantial spike in teen drinking, for a variety of reasons. Here’s what you need to know if you want to protect your child.
Why is the Summer a Dangerous Time for Teens?
It’s all about exposure. During the summer, teens are frequently at BBQs, cookouts, and other alcohol-fueled events. It’s not difficult for teens to find an alcohol drink during this time. By the time they’re 18, 60% of teens will have had an alcoholic drink. Sometimes they can even be introduced to alcohol through a family member or friend of the family.
This is very dangerous. Those who begin drinking before the age of 15 are six times more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder than those who begin drinking after they turn 21. Underaged drinking can have a significant physical, emotional, and social impact on a growing child. Binge drinking, in particular, can have lifelong side effects.
How Can You Keep Your Teen from Alcohol?
It’s not possible to police your teen all the time, and it’s likely they will at least get the chance to try alcohol at some point. But you can reduce your teen’s risk of drinking during the summer by:
- Encouraging your teen to keep busy with age-appropriate activities. Things like summer camp with kids their own age can help.
- Talking to your teen directly about the risks of alcohol. Don’t go too far, or your teen may not believe you: be realistic.
- Letting your teen know they can talk to you about anything. Your teen should know they can call you if they’re in trouble without getting into trouble.
- Knowing where your teen is and who they’re with. If they’re going to a party, it should be with people that you already know and trust.