Teens report that they do not drink underage because they don’t want to disappoint their parents and family. Assuming that your son or daughter understands how alcohol would impact their lives may not be enough when it comes to the incredible pressure that adolescents experience from their environment. With developing brains and hormones ‘wired’ for craving adventure and new experiences, young people are very prone to thinking that alcohol could be ‘just the thing!’ (Coupled with a genetic predisposition, that adds another level of vulnerability.)
As an adult who cares about youth, send a clear message when you speak to them and lend an appreciative ear for them to express themselves. Their world is different from the one we grew up in. They have many more visual, audible and sensory prompting messages urging them that ‘the world is out there having a huge party and just waiting for them to join in!’
This prom and graduation season, remember to “Celebrate!….without alcohol!” Examples of youth who live this message are all around us. Here’s a few from Sussex County!