Alcohol and Children
Until they hit their twenties, children are developing their bodies and their minds. According to KidsHealth, 80% of high schoolers have tried alcohol. By filling their bodies with alcohol, they could be causing damage to the organs, muscles, bones, and their decision-making. It is important for parents to be involved in their kids’ lives so they can watch the signs of possible alcohol addiction and to educate them on the dangers of alcoholism.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that 5,000 kids under the age of 21 die yearly from underage drinking. Drinking can make kids sick, impact their decision-making, cause them to commit embarrassing acts, and can be highly addicted to alcohol. Kids who drink can be those with no common sense, risk takers, or those who are defiant towards their parents. Many kids do not know how to deal with the many problems that come from growing up so they use alcohol as a way to escape those problems or to feel good. Others drink to look cool, because they are curious what it is like, or because they feel pressured to. Alcohol can slow down and depress the brain as well as a loss of coordination and changes in sight, thinking, and speaking. Kids will be saying or doing things that they do not mean and can hurt themselves or others.
If you see more than two of these changes such as odor, doing poorly in school, a change in mood, withdrawal from friends and family, if they look like they are hiding something, alcohol is missing from the house, they have a new group of friends, or depressed, then they could be developing an addiction to alcohol. It is best to encourage your kids to ask you questions whenever anyone offers them a drink such as what is in it and where it is from. You can also teach your kids that when life is stressful, drinking will not make those problems go away and will just create more problems. Since kids with low self-esteem tend to drink to feel more confident, tell your kids all the time their strengths and what you love most about them to make them feel good about themselves. Continue to keep tabs on your kids by making sure where they are at all times and let them know that they can come to you for anything.