When our children were young, we can influence their behaviours (since they are gullible) but when they grow up and learn things, disciplining them gets harder. Parenting is not that easy but we should never give up. When our teens give up, they have only us to rely and help them get back on their feet.
As much as possible, we do not want them to be introduced to any bad habits because they might catch on. The first thing that we need to do is become a good role model to them. How can we discourage them not to smoke if we are smoking? That is not a good picture. When we say something is bad, they should not see us doing it or we risk being called hypocrites.
After that, we should keep them away from unnecessary advertisements. Advertisements can strongly influence the preference and drinking habits of teens. According to a recent study conducted by Boston University School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, marketing exposure is a factor that leads teens to drink.
Many Singaporeans accept that marketing or advertisement contribute to the preference and drinking habits of teens. It is not easy taking down companies that manufacture alcoholic beverages. The government is doing its best to curb alcohol use of teens. We cannot just buy alcohols here in Singapore unless we are 18 years and above. An identification card must be presented. What about adults who are addicted? They can buy anything they want if they only flaunt their identification cards. Well, this is another problem.
For now, let us focus on curbing alcohol addiction amongst our teens. Other than tips mentioned above, we can consider some more:
- Explain: We need to have a meaningful talk with our teens. We should not leave the talking to their teachers. We can begin by the negative effects of alcohol physically and mentally.
- Work together: Talking is not enough. After talking, what now? The best course of action is to work together and identify the risky situations when influenced by alcohol and its possible consequences.
- Stress: Teens often ignore what we say especially if we do not reinforce it. We have to be firm when we tell them how we feel about alcohol and drugs.
- Spend time: Teens often try something new because they think that their parents do not mind or will let them be. There are some studies that prove that children who spend more time with their parents are less likely to indulge in alcohol or drugs.