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MADD offers sobering facts on kids and alcohol

It’s teen party season, with spring break on and prom and graduation bashes not far behind.

And for parents of teens come more worries about safety and the ever-present temptation for the kids to drink.

  • Janet Mondshein, executive director of the Miami chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, offers some sobering facts in a chat with MomsMiami.
  • The average age of a first-time drinker is 12. Some parents give it to the kids. Why this is a bad idea:
  • The earlier a child drinks, the more likely he will become alcohol-dependent. If a child drinks before 15, he is five times more likely to develop alcohol issues than if he started drinking at 21.
  • About 5,000 young people die each year as a result of underage drinking. That includes auto wrecks, homicides, suicides and other accidents.
  • Alcohol affects young developing brains differently than adult brains. It can cause permanent brain damage and affect memory and impulse control. It can lead to poor performance in school. It affects judgment, which can lead to unwanted pregnancies, rape, suicide and criminal behavior.
  • Well-meaning parents think if a child drinks at home, under parental supervision, she won’t be tempted to go out and get wild and drink elsewhere. But kids don’t distinguish between the two: Permission is permission.
  • Serving alcohol to minors — even at a graduation or prom party — is against the law. And if something happens as a result of serving alcohol to minors, you can be held responsible and prosecuted.
  • If you believe your child has an alcohol or drug problem, call experts like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-A-Teen or MADD, a family doctor or hotline for advice. If your child is not responding to you, get her to talk to someone else. Some kids don’t want to be lectured by parents. Find other parents going through the same thing for support.
  • If you drink in front of the kids, do so moderately and teach them that there are things kids can’t do that adults can.
  • Teach your kids to make good choices. Have a close relationship and open dialog from when they’re very little and you have a good chance of raising responsible kids.

Merced Sun-Star

It’s teen party season, with spring break on and prom and graduation bashes not far behind.

And for parents of teens come more worries about safety and the ever-present temptation for the kids to drink.

Janet Mondshein, executive director of the Miami chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, offers some sobering facts in a chat with MomsMiami.

The average age of a first-time drinker is 12. Some parents give it to the kids. Why this is a bad idea:

The earlier a child drinks, the more likely he will become alcohol-dependent. If a child drinks before 15, he is five times more likely to develop alcohol issues than if he started drinking at 21.

About 5,000 young people die each year as a result of underage drinking. That includes auto wrecks, homicides, suicides and other accidents.

Alcohol affects young developing brains differently than adult brains. It can cause permanent brain damage and affect memory and impulse control. It can lead to poor performance in school. It affects judgment, which can lead to unwanted pregnancies, rape, suicide and criminal behavior.

Well-meaning parents think if a child drinks at home, under parental supervision, she won’t be tempted to go out and get wild and drink elsewhere. But kids don’t distinguish between the two: Permission is permission.

Serving alcohol to minors — even at a graduation or prom party — is against the law. And if something happens as a result of serving alcohol to minors, you can be held responsible and prosecuted.

If you believe your child has an alcohol or drug problem, call experts like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-A-Teen or MADD, a family doctor or hotline for advice. If your child is not responding to you, get her to talk to someone else. Some kids don’t want to be lectured by parents. Find other parents going through the same thing for support.

If you drink in front of the kids, do so moderately and teach them that there are things kids can’t do that adults can.

Teach your kids to make good choices. Have a close relationship and open dialog from when they’re very little and you have a good chance of raising responsible kids.

source: Merced Sun-Star

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