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Teens With Warm, Watchful Parents Booze Less

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momlogic's Vivian: So, how do you keep your teen from boozing his or her way into oblivion, as so many teens do?

teens with parents

According to HealthDay, a recent Brigham Young University study has found that parents who enjoy a warm rapport with their teens -- and who are also vigilant in tracking their whereabouts -- have the biggest influence when it comes to preventing their kids from developing a heavy drinking habit.

However, kids whose parents are warm but lax when it comes to tracking their whereabouts have a threefold greater risk for heavy drinking!

Does this mean you should ride your kids? Not quite. Per the BYU study, "strict" parents who aren't as "warm" have kids that are twice as likely to booze it up.

Ah ... the teen years. My parents were somewhere between extremely strict (my dad) and extremely lax (my mom). Once I got the guts up to party in junior and senior year, I partied my ass off.

In the HealthDay article, study coauthor John Hoffmann, a sociologist at BYU's College of Family, Home and Social Sciences, gives parents these words of wisdom: "Realize you need to have both accountability and support in your relationship with your adolescent. Make sure that it's not just about controlling their behavior -- you need to combine knowing how they spend their time away from home with a warm, loving relationship."

As a parent, I see that as THE approach to aspire to. But is it really as black-and-white as all that? I would imagine that trying to get a glimpse into a teen's inner world would be akin to watching TV after 2 AM in the pre-cable days of yore: You'd see nothing but fuzzy gray-and-white dots.

What do you guys think? Do you agree with this research -- and if so, do you have a story to share?


next: 12 Hidden Playground Dangers Every Parent Should Look Out For
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Matt June 26, 2010, 7:10 AM

I run my house like in Europe, the philosophy is once my children reach 13, I let them have 1 alcoholic beverage with dinner when my wife an I do, I absolutely will not let them drive anywhere until the next day but still. I’d rather them experience it under my supervision than sneak around and drink and drive. Plus if they won’t have as much if they know they can have it. When kids turn 21 they go and just drink because they have never had this freedom before. In Europe, the kids are less likely to develop drinking problems because they had always had the option of drinking. Now don’t tell me I am a bad parent because i’m not, if you don’t tell me how to raise my kids, then I won’t tell you how to raise yours.

Seriously? June 26, 2010, 4:03 PM

There are so many things wrong with that. I shouldn’t have to remind you that this ISN’T Europe and what you are doing is Illegal, it’s agaist the law to buy alchohol for minors…. Also I don’t believe the best way to stop teens from boozing is to make alchohol readily available. And lastly you ARE a bad parent. You can rationalize your behavior to yourself by saying Europe a few more times…. But you are still a bad parent, and you are doing society and your children a disservice.

Anon June 26, 2010, 6:51 PM

Allowing a teenager to have an alcoholic beverage at home isn’t just limited to Europe.
I am from a place in Canada which allows teenagers to have an occasional alcoholic beverage, as long as it is in their home, with their parents present.
Letting your teen have an occasional glass of wine with dinner, under your supervision, does NOT make you a ‘bad parent’.
It teaches them moderation, and to actually enjoy an alcoholic beverage - instead of drinking for the sake of getting drunk.
My parents allowed me the choice of having a glass of wine (while they had one) from the time I was a teenager - and I, plus my siblings, have never been excessive drinkers.
I think the really unforunate children are those who belong to parents that will readily feed them pop, and sugary energy drinks all day long.

Kat June 27, 2010, 8:08 PM

This isn’t true at all, and I speak from experience. Teens will be teens, and whether or not your kid goes out and gets loaded is as predictable as playing the lottery. My parents were totally lax and I drank WAY less than my friend, whose parents were strict. Maybe kids with strict parents just learned to keep their traps shut about it…

I LIVE IN UTAH AND June 28, 2010, 5:57 PM

LDS aka mormon families that I know of go to church and have their stash of wine etc and didn’t tell their minor daughter not to drink or let her friends drink. LAME. Without supervision even. Why even be a in a religion if you can’t follow rules? Don’t kid yourself.


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