As a parent, you have to prepare yourself to the fact that your teen is going to try alcohol one day. It’s something that you can’t control, especially since you won’t be around him most of the time. The only way that you can protect him from the ill effects of alcohol is to make him aware of the consequences of drinking and hope that he listens and exercises good judgment.
Of note though; underage drinking should never be tolerated and should never become a negotiable topic. However, since there is always the temptation to try alcohol, especially when he’s at parties, then he has to know the consequences of drinking. Furthermore, you also have to know how to deal with the fact that your teen might be tempted to drink.
Teach Him the Consequences of Drinking
Before you set rules, you have to teach him the consequences of drinking. Explain to him what happens if he’s had a drink – that it alters the way he’s thinking and making decisions and that it can even, for a short while, alter his personality. If he’s had too much alcohol, he may even do things that he doesn’t normally do such as have sex with random girls, drive while drunk, or take drugs. These are serious and costly consequences, something that you and your teen definitely don’t want to happen.
Let’s say that he’s had sex with some random girl at a party, then explain to him the undesired results such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. If he drives his vehicle while drunk, then tell him it could lead to DUI charges if the police caught him or, worse, a car accident that could result in multiple injuries and maybe even death. If this happens, not only will you have to shell out cash to hire a DUI lawyer to defend your son in court, but if convicted, he will also have to spend time in prison. Again, this is a situation that should be avoided if he values himself.
As mentioned earlier, underage drinking should never be tolerated. In fact, you have to be very vigilant and always reiterate to him the importance of avoiding alcohol. However, given that you will not be with him at all hours, then you have to set rules for him to follow.
First rule , of course, should be no alcohol. If he’s caught smelling of liquor, then he has to face the consequences such as grounding him inside the house, forbidding him to see his friends, taking away his internet privileges, and doing more house chores, etc.
Second rule; if ever he was tempted to drink, make him promise that he won’t drive. If he’s drunk, tell him to call you and you’ll come pick him up. If a friend’s going to drive him home, tell him to make sure that the friend didn’t have any alcohol. Never let him ride in a car with a drunk driver. Once he gets home and once the effects of alcohol wear off, follow through with the consequences of drinking and let him know how serious you are about the no drinking rule.
Third rule, let him/her know that you will enroll them in a local alcohol detox program. Let them know what this entails, how long it will take and what is expected of them.
There’s always the possibility that your teen will try alcohol. The best thing that you can do to protect him is to let him know the consequences of drinking, including DUI charges. Jennifer Dahline regularly contributes articles to the blog of Musca Law.