Graduating high school is an important milestone in your child’s life, one which calls for celebration with friends and family. Though this is a happy time in life, it is also a dangerous time of year. Before sending your graduate off to celebrate, make sure they know the seriousness of underage drinking. Taking the time to simply talk to your child just may save their life.
The following are important points to stress when talking to your child about the risks of consuming alcohol:
• Legal Risks:
Consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal. If caught by law enforcement, your graduate may be charged, which possibly will go on their permanent record. This in turn could affect the bright future they have worked so hard to achieve. Chances of financial aid are jeopardized, as well as a chance at certain careers. Getting caught consuming underage could also equal fines, court costs, and possibly even jail time. This does NOT sound like a fun way to celebrate such a great achievement.
• Health Risks:
Your graduate’s brain is still in a critical stage of development, which makes them even more sensitive to alcohol’s effects. Inhibitions are effected, which may cause your graduate to make regretted decisions. They are more likely to take risks, which could lead to serious injury and even death. Other risks of underage drinking include over consumption, which may cause your child to pass out, stop breathing, and even be poisoned by alcohol.
Research has shown that YOU as a parent can make a difference in your child’s decisions just by taking the time to talk to them. Set aside a moment and let your graduate know how you feel about them consuming alcohol, what the risks are, and that you want them to celebrate safely. Set the rules and stick to them. Let them know you are there for them, and answer any questions they may have. Taking these steps may affect your child throughout their entire life.
For more information on Talking to your kids about alcohol you may contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or on the web at www.vbsafecoalition.com.