Guidelines For Curbing College Drinking

College Drinking Help Your Child Avoid The ProblemsEvery year thousands of young people graduate from high school and strike out on their own, gathering on college campuses, ready to begin the education that will spring them forward into lifetime careers. College is the time for growing as a young adult, making friends, and tightening bonds that will stay strong for years to come. However, there is another side to joining college life. Often, this is also the time for trying out new things that seem like fun at the time, but can ultimately lead to devastation. The party environment encourages college drinking and the use of other drugs, and while parents may have warned their children about such things, the fact is that Mom and Dad are not there to put a stop to it. If you are the parent of a young college student, your hands are not completely tied when it comes to college drinking. There are some things you can do to help them understand the dangers college drinking and teach them when to say “when”.

The annual statistics for college drinking are alarming. Each year:

  • College drinking kills 1,400 students.
  • There are 70,000 sexual assaults related to college drinking.
  • 100,000 students admit to drinking so much alcohol that they have blacked out and are not sure if they engaged in consensual sex.
  • Over 2 million students admit to driving drunk.
  • 110,000 have contact with police officers because of college drinking.
  • One-quarter of college students deal with academic problems because of college drinking.
  • Over one-third of students who get involved with college drinking abuse alcohol and 6 percent of them become dependent on alcohol.

What is a parent supposed to do when it comes to college drinking? Well, the first line of defense is to sit down and talk to your son or daughter. Letting them know that you take the issue very seriously and that you also know that they are smart enough to listen to the facts can go a long way toward preventing problems with college drinking. As with most young adults, your child will probably shrug and treat you as though you are trying to shelter him or her, but don’t let them walk away. Insist that they hear you and encourage them to discuss it. You can follow up by calling to chat at least once a week.

Of course, it is integral that you talk to them as an adult. Speaking to them as though they are still young teens and holding threats of punishment over their heads will only encourage them to rebel against your words. After all, why wouldn’t they act like kids when they are treated like kids? Speak to them as you would a younger friend rather than like a child. Encourage them to be responsible when it comes to college drinking, as you know they can be. Unless you have a consequence to tell them about, avoid regaling them with stories of your own days of college drinking.

Some important guidelines for curbing college drinking:

  • Tell them you are there for them anytime they need to talk.
  • Share the above statistics about college drinking.
  • Point out where to go if they ever need to find help for themselves or for a friend.
  • Stay in regular contact and ask them how they are doing. Ask about friends, classes, and any problems they might be facing.
  • Outline the legal implications involved with underage college drinking and drinking to excess.
  • Attend college events for parents.
  • If you can, sign them up for a Friday class. This way, you can help them avoid the long weekend effect of starting the party early.
  • Keep an eye on their grades, notice if they are avoiding conversations about friends, and take note of any mood swings that may be associated with college drinking.

When your grown child goes off to college, he or she is embarking on a whole new life, but if you want to help them avoid problems like college drinking, encourage responsibility and let them know that no matter how old they are, you will always be there to help them.

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