Parents assume that they would know if their teen is under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, many teens say that they know how to mask their alcohol consumption to prevent getting caught. Parents please stay alert and monitor any suspicious behaviors such as the ones listed in this article.
1. Slip in Grades
If your teen has been a good student, then suddenly her grades begin to slip, assess the situation further. A teenager who has been drinking may cut classes or lose interest in school and other extra-curricular activities. A teen that was once positive and happy may also turn negative and belligerent when you mention her studies. Any sign of a slip in her academic capabilities is cause for concern. A proactive approach to resolving the problem can be taken by opening the lines of communication and speaking at her level.
2. Social Change
Your teen’s friends may begin to change. This could indicate that she may have fallen into the “wrong crowd” where it is easy to be manipulated into misconduct. Having peer support makes it easier to hide alcohol consumption. Special events such as holidays, birthdays, and family celebrations may also become petty to her. Family gatherings and celebrations should be mandatory at your discretion. Those times can be important for you two to connect and bond during this delicate stage in life.
3. Mood Swings
If your teen is into alcohol, you will notice significant mood changes. She may become agitated over simple things such as asking about her day. Your teen may become withdrawn avoiding friends and other social situations that she once enjoyed. Frequent outbursts such as yelling and crying can be other signs. She may also disguise alcohol by adding it to beverages such as orange juice. So, be mindful of her choices of beverage consumption. Teens are already inexperienced drivers and alcohol just makes their motor skills worse. Teen DUI charges are very serious offenses and difficult to defend.
4. Physical Appearance
Most teens take pride in their appearance and keep up-to-date with the latest styles and trends. Alcohol usage in teens will often result in a decline in their personal appearance and hygiene. They may also appear tired and have glazed or red eyes. Watch for hangover symptoms that may be attempted to be passed off as an illness.
5. Breaking the Rules
Your teen may also exhibit serious signs of alcohol consumption that includes breaking curfew, stealing money, and getting in trouble with the law. You can deter your teen from imbibing alcohol by holding her accountable for her actions. For example, she loses driving privileges for breaking curfew. A teen also typically thrives on added responsibilities. However, if she abuses alcohol communicate the serious repercussions related to drinking.
In order to prevent your teen from drinking, heavy ground rules need to be set in place at home. Consider your own alcohol intake as well. Teens sometimes mimic behavior that is seen being performed by their parents. Be mindful of what she sees. Also, make sure that someone close to her is not glorifying alcohol.
For example: someone states that he cannot wait to get a nice cold beer so he can relax. This gives the impression that alcohol is needed to be calm or is part of a normal daily routine. The best way to control alcohol at home is to keep it locked up in a secure place.
Parents can keep their teens from abusing alcohol by taking a hands-on approach. If you discover that your teen is drinking, you may want to seek assistance such as therapy with a medical professional. Driving privileges should definitely be restricted until the situation in under control. It is not worth taking the risk of her driving while intoxicated. Drunk driving is very dangerous and could be costly.
Article contributor,Domonique Powell, believes that ensuring your teen is aware of the long term consequences of underage drinking is key for prevention. DUI defense attorney firm Katz & Phillips, P.A. states online at http://www.orlandocriminalteam.com/dui-defense-attorney/ that “There are limited options available for an underage defendant because any amount of alcohol will be deemed unacceptable.”
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goincase/5143421728/