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How can parents support teens not to engage in underage drinking?

All South Carolina parents want the best for their teenager, and sometimes, it takes clear communication to teach teenagers the information they need to so they stay on the right track with their growth and development. One vital topic where clear communication is needed involves underage drinking. How can parents effectively convince their teens not to engage in this kind of behavior?

The best approach for parents to take involves building a supportive and trusting relationship with their children. Research shows that teenagers tend to delay participating in illegal alcohol consumption if they have a close and trusting relationship with their guardian or parent. Also, even if the teenager does participate in underage drinking, having a good relationship with his or her parents may help prevent the teen from having serious problems with alcohol later on down the road.

Teens with better relationships with their parents have better self-confidence, and they are less likely to cave under peer pressure to drink alcohol. Also, such teens will try harder to live up to the expectations of their parents in order to keep their parents approval. Meanwhile, if the parent's relationship with the teenager is bad and full of conflict, the teen is more likely to suffer from underage drinking issues.

Parents who are having trouble keeping good ties with their teenager may want to consider mental health counseling and family counseling therapy. These services can help to restore a sense of trust between a parent and child. This can be a vital step toward the resolution of behavior-related issues, including underage drinking.

For some South Carolina parents reading this blog, their teenager may already be facing criminal charges relating to underage drinking. It is important that these parents keep an open mind about the charges -- partly because it is not uncommon that a teenager is wrongly accused of drinking if police find him or her at a party where alcohol was present. Regardless what happened, though, parents may wish to consult with a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with underage drinking charges in order to try to limit the chances and/or severity of punishments and other negative ramifications associated with an underage drinking conviction.

Source: pubs.niaaa.nih.gov, "Talking to teens about drinking" accessed Feb. 11, 2015

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