Are Parents Driving Teens into Drinking?


(By Amanda Babaro)

You just got home from school and you’re thirsty. You grab a water bottle, you drink it, now it’s empty, but you want more, much more. You reach back into the fridge, this time your hand grazes right pass the water. You inch your hand backwards, until jackpot.. You’ve hit your parents’ stash.

You have Beer, Wine and Vodka at your fingertips. You know you should avoid it, but do you? Of course not! You turn around and make sure the coast is clear. The time is 2:30PM; you’ve got the house to yourself until five. You take out a beer and bring it up to your room, leaving all of your homework and worries behind. You sip the beer and sigh as your worries get washed away.

The usage of alcohol in teens has skyrocketed, and most don’t even bother hiding it. Drinking has become a social activity and is now just something teenagers do to pass time. It’s got to the point where they are proudly tweeting about it. Many have no problem telling other teens about it, but most do have a problem if their parents find out. So why doesn’t this stop them? Why do they keep pouring alcohol down their throats?

Possibly it starts with teens trying to be cool or to fit in and then leads to addiction. That’s typically the answer. Alcohol addiction, or commonly referred to as alcoholism, is a disease that consists of frequent and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol products. Although alcoholism is more common in adults, it also exists amongst teens and can be avoided. It is well believed that teens take up drinking as a way to pass the time; others believe that it is a way to deal with stress.

Are Parents to Blame?

Along with the terrified and mortified parents, are there some that are dignified? Well, maybe not dignified but, they could be encouraging, wait, no. A parent would never do such a thing,…or would they? It’s a well-known fact that most people drink before they’re twenty one. It is an assumed fact that most teens pick it up from school, what about their families?

At most family barbeques there is drinking, but as times change it is not uncommon for the teen to sip a beer, or two, or three. “Teens are going to at least try drinking,” explains Brian Witt of Farmingdale, NY. “[It] seems to be in their DNA. If a parent can introduce their [kids] to drinking responsibly and not let them be introduced to drinking in the manner of the classic out-of-control teen, it’s a boon.” Witt continues that “taking the puritanical route of ‘NO NO NO can’t do that!’ is just going to make teenagers want to drink even more.”

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But there are those parents that can be just as irresponsible and even party with their teenage child and their friends. Studies have shown that 50% of teenagers have said they attended and consumed alcohol at parties where adults were present.

Weighing the effects of alcohol on teens, it is only reasonable for parents and adults to make conscious efforts in discouraging teenagers from drinking, and help them say no to the bottles.

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