Apr 14 2008

If you use excessive discipline for your teenage children, they are may be more likely to abuse alcohol

You may not be surprized to learn excessive discipline for teenagers around 17 years old may lead to more frequent alcohol abuse and intoxication.

Excessive discipline may be an attempt by the parents to monitor or exert some parental control over their adolescent children’s behavior.

However, too much discipline may have the unintended effect of causing more alcohol related problems.

The authors suggest that the excessive discipline problems for older adolescents could be related to the need for greater psychological autonomy.

This brings us back to the research on parenting. When parents allow children from an early age begin to make decisions, express emotions and act more independently, they are more likely to develop more autonomy as they mature.

This is ideal for a family, as it is much better to encourage responsibility, than obedience in children and adolescents.

So, responsible teens will experiment with alcohol and other substances and come home and let you know they have been drinking. When they want you to find out, they will do so.
At this time, it is very important for you as parents to “catch” your teenager in the “act.”

They want to be caught. For you to catch them, means you are monitoring them and must really love them to stay up so late and be able to pay attention.

Actually, it’s not too hard. They reek of alcohol and may not be able to stand up very well.

And they will definitely tell you “I am fine, leave me alone.” Saying this confirms they were abusing alcohol.

Then, you meet the next day. Ask them to tell you what was going on and let them know they have to be responsible for their lives and choices.

And if they continue to demonstrate irresponsible choices, you will make them go to therapy.

This is an example of a logical and natural consequence, rather than a punishment.

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