HOW TO RAISE ALCOHOL-FREE TEENS
By Joyce Parker, Ph.D.
What can parents do to protect children from the alcohol and drug abuse that are omnipresent in their environment? In the July 8, 2002 issue of Social Work Today, Sharon Lyter, Ph.D. describes a small study she did to answer this question. What she found was that there are several importance factors that protect children from alcohol abuse.
These 3 factors appear to define a well running, loving home with caring and concerned parents who provide appropriate limits and discipline. The parenting strategies that create connections and bonds, order and discipline, and hopes and dreams for children, seem to prevent them being influenced by the drug culture which surrounds them.
- Living in an intact family seems to be a protective factor particularly when the parents either abstain from using alcohol or are very light users. The factors that make an intact family more effective in preventing children from becoming involved with drugs need to be studied so that families of various configurations can use this information.
- Learning about alcohol from parents and learning about alcohol in a logical way seems to help teens. The learning needs to be backed up by parents who provide structure for their teens. It was found that having a mother whom provides restrictions and control is particularly helpful.
- Being encouraged to do well in school and to have goals to work towards is also protective.
The author of this article, and founder of the Therapyinla.com website, Joyce Parker, passed away in 2011. To honor her we are keeping her articles posted at this website.
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