Alcoholism: Catch them young
At that time it seems okay to take a sip from your friend’s glass of alcohol. It is party time after all and everyone is drinking! To the youngster just out of his teenage, it seems really cool to be a part of the gang and hold a glass in hand. This is how a youngster is introduced to alcohol most of the times. Parents keep telling their kids to stay away from alcohol and tobacco. The age is such that the youngsters feel that they know the best; after all, the entire world is their oyster! Nothing can go wrong with the young can it? Well it can!
The youngsters do need counseling, but before that I would like to say that the parents or the guardians need to understand a few things. There is this line, which is always there at the back of my mind; it is: “The more you resist the more it persists!” When you tell the youth not to do something, be sure that they will do it! So I suggest that rather than telling them what to do or what not to do, it would help to just lay the pros and cons of the act in front of them. Show them examples of alcohol spoiling health, careers and relationships. Do not conclude the good or the bad of it – just give them the facts and let them infer.
This is the easiest way to appeal to them, through their intellect and understanding. One always sticks to a decision made on our own; but we always want to break rules set by others.
It will help if you empower them with your faith. Trusting them will bring out the best behavior in the youth. It gives them a sense of responsibility. They will not go back on their word if you don’t nag them.
Yes, it would do you well to keep a discreet eye on them and occasionally bring out a discussion on the subject. It will help you judge whether the youngster is still sticking to the word given by them.
Parenting, family environment and peers – these are the three main factors which affect a growing child’s perspective towards drinking alcohol. Parents’ drinking behavior and favorable attitudes about drinking have been positively associated with adolescents’ initiating and continuing drinking. Early initiation of drinking has been identified as an important risk factor for later alcohol-related problems. Children who were warned about alcohol by their parents and children who reported being closer to their parents were less likely to start drinking.
So, once again I suggest that empower your youngster to be your friend and to be able to confide in you! Lack of parental support, monitoring, and communication have been significantly related to frequency of drinking, heavy drinking, and drunkenness among adolescents. Harsh, inconsistent discipline and hostility or rejections toward children have also been found to significantly predict adolescent drinking and alcohol-related problems.
Make your youngster realize that to be cool you don’t have to smoke or drink alcohol. Being cool is about the right attitude and good behaviour. Success is about being able to do what you want without any hindrance from any vices or illnesses!
“The first thing in the human personality that dissolves in alcohol is dignity.”
Mickey Mehta. The author is India’s Leading Holistic Health Guru
Image: Flickr Creativecommons Kirtipoddar