Friday 1 August 2014

Teenagers and Alcohol......The Talk with SA Breweries

I don't get to spend a lot of time with my 15yo son since he moved back to the UK in August last year for boarding school. The youngest of 4 boys, he's heard and seen and contributed to every strop, tantrum, pushing the boundaries and general stuff associated with teenagers.

I'm not naive, but to date I've only seen the eldest child drunk while underage and I know the 3 older boys drink with their mates and have been binge drinking, I can't control their behaviour now they are adults, but I hope that I've raised them sensibly to know their limits and to ask for help as and when the time arrives.

I will confess that I do drink more since we moved to South Africa and that is due to the price, which is much cheaper than the UK and that has influenced my drinking habits.

The 15yo is on school holidays, visiting us for 5 weeks. We are off to Cape Town tomorrow on the train and fly back on Wednesday. We will be eating out everyday and unless we have fast food, every restaurant serves alcohol and I will have a glass of wine with a meal, as I'm on holiday also, but I am in charge of a 15yo and hubby won't be there to rely on, so a glass of wine will be my limit.

I pledged to support South Africa Breweries aged 18+ campaign, you can read the 1st blog post here.

My 15yo is without any parental control or input while he stays in the UK, there has been an incident of drugs at his school and the pupils were excluded, he has unsupervised access to town on weekends and it's made me realise he can access alcohol if he wants to.

So while I have a captive audience, 27 hours on a train, I will talk to/with him about alcohol and the dangers of drinking underage.

If you want to have the talk with your teenager and don't go saying 'my child NEVER touches alcohol, none of his friends drink' because that just isn't true.

Check out SA Breweries 'How to start the conversation' with your teen and pre teen or tween. Let me know how you get on, did they admit to drinking? did they try to avoid the conversation? or was it a successful talk?

No one under 18 should be drinking alcohol and it is up to us to stop our denial about the situation and do something about it.

  • 1 in 2 teenagers in the average South African home is a user of alcohol.
  • Yet the vast majority of parents think their teenagers don’t drink
  • Around 15% of boys and 8% of girls said that they’d had their first drink before age 13
  • People who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent than those who have their first drink at age 20 or older
  • Teens that use alcohol are three times more likely to be involved in violent crime
  • 67% of teens who drink before the age of 15 will go on to use illegal drugs

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