Parenting Style Key to Controlling Heavy Drinking in Teens

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According to a new study you’re parenting style makes a big difference in how much you child will drink (probably a lot of other activities). With ADHD children more susceptible to drinking (impulsive behaviors) this is an important study and one that parents should take to heart.

Setting real limits has always been, in my mind the best way to parent. Kids are always pushing boundaries, that’s their job.That’s how they learn. When they go too far they need to be pulled back and told that they should not cross that boundary and why and sometimes when and where it is acceptable to cross the boundary. When done in a helpful friendly way rather than as a strict disciplinarian gets a better long term response.

I know that’s easy to say. As the saying goes: “When you are up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember the original objective was to drain the swamp.”

Obviously dangerous situations have to be dealt with more forcefully, but most situations are more amenable to reasonable discussions.

Even young children when they understand the concept of right and wrong should, IMHO, be talked to, looking at them eye to eye, as an adult. This way they feel on the same level as you and that they are being treated with respect. Give them a chance to express their feelings but in the end you need to set the boundary and when crossed you must enforce it. Without enforcement they will soon realize that you are all bark and no bite and will soon ignore your admonitions.

Back to the original report from Science Daily:

Teens and Alcohol Study: After a Few Drinks, Parenting Style Kicks in

ScienceDaily (June 24, 2010) — Parents may be surprised, even disappointed, to find out they don’t influence whether their teen tries alcohol.

But now for some good news: Parenting style strongly and directly affects teens when it comes to heavy drinking — defined as having five or more drinks in a row — according to a new Brigham Young University study.

The researchers surveyed nearly 5,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 about their drinking habits and their relationship with their parents. Specifically, they examined parents’ levels of accountability — knowing where they spend their time and with whom — and the warmth they share with their kids. Here’s what they found:

  • The teens least prone to heavy drinking had parents who scored high on both accountability and warmth.
  • So-called “indulgent” parents, those low on accountability and high on warmth, nearly tripled the risk of their teen participating in heavy drinking.
  • “Strict” parents — high on accountability and low on warmth — more than doubled their teen’s risk of heavy drinking.

Read Complete Article Here

So there it is, another study you knew the results before they did the study. Why is it so hard to for parents to do what they instinctively know is right?

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