Believe it or not, an astonishing 90% of eleventh and twelfth grade students think that their counterparts will drink alcohol and drive home on prom night, and 79% believe that their friends will drink on graduation day as well. Drunk driving in teens has decreased over the past 20 years or so, but it still happens, mostly unnoticed by parents. The following will look into why parents miss the signs of alcohol abuse and will offer some advice about how to deal with the problem when it arises.
Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/25/2013 -- Drunk driving and teens go hand-in-hand, unfortunately, often with disastrous results. Why does this behavior occur, and how is it going unnoticed by mothers and fathers across the country? The main reason parents, even the most in-touch-with-their-kids ones, miss the signs of alcohol or other drug abuse in their teens is because those signs mimic typical rebellious teenage behavior. Increased aggression, declining grades, antisocial behavior, changed in peer group or dress, and an increasingly negative or combative attitude are all “normal” teen behaviors. The most effective way to protect kids from drinking and driving is to know their friends and their friends’ parents. It is very important to be aware of which parent(s) allow their teens to drink under their supervision, which ones provide alcohol for teens, and which ones are stricter about that sort of thing. The next step is to talk with the teens about why they are choosing to hang out with the kids who drink to excess and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Parents must make absolutely sure that it is the teenager’s decision, his sense of personal responsibility, which is his most effective deterrent to drunk driving.
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There are a lot of different reasons for drunk driving in teens. Peer pressure is the biggest one, leading up to 78% of adolescents to drink to excess. No kid wants to be left out of the popular crowd, and if those teens drink too much and drive home, that’s what the kid who wants to fit in will do. Parents often forget how important it is to kids, particularly teenagers, to be accepted by their chosen peer group. They see their own child’s uncooperative attitude as rebellion, not alcohol dependence. The most effective way to deal with the problem of teens drinking and driving is to communicate, discuss the teen’s plans, and talk some more. Parents have the right to know where their teenagers are, with whom, and for how long they expect to be in this person’s company.
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