There are better ways to teach teens

Alcohol, in the hands of a responsible and mature adult, can be a very relaxing and even healthy social tool. They drink a glass of wine or a bottle of beer or a glass of single malt scotch every now and again for many good reasons. Alcoholic drinks also play a big part in the food service industry, it goes well with some foods that we all like. But when it comes to teenagers consuming alcohol, it’s a whole different story.

It all boils down to the reasons why mature and responsible adults and why their younger counterparts engage in the activity. Older people, specially the responsible one and I cannot stress this enough, tend to drink to get the beneficial and, according to studies, healthy part of alcohol. They mostly do it to get a relaxing feeling or to pair it up with good foods. But, the most important aspect of responsible drinking is moderation, responsible drinkers don’t drink to get drunk, they drink to have fun.

This is an idea that teens oftentimes misunderstand. They also tend to take it to extreme levels. Teens who see movies, advertisements and other media that depict the fun, enjoyment and even class that drinking brings to someone, although at a very shallow level, are misled into believing that mere consumption of alcohol would bring happiness. This is of course not necessarily true, it takes more than just alcohol for the whole experience to be fun and enjoyable. And when you really think about it, the alcoholic drinks are not even the most important part of the whole thing, it’s the camaraderie and spending time with friends and the people that you like thats most important.

There is an article that explains why parents who drink with their teens can be more successful in teaching them to be more responsible drinkers. There are people who believe that teens would definitely experiment with drinking eventually and that letting them know what its like to drink or maybe get drunk would better prepare them for when they are in a situation where they would have to choose. I for one think that there is some truth to this in a way that a well informed consumer would make better decisions about what to buy.

But isn’t there a better way to teach teens about responsible drinking besides exposing them to the dangers of alcohol at a relatively tender age? Wouldn’t it be better if parents did it by letting the kids know that they can have fun, eat great food and enjoy life in general without consuming alcohol? Can’t parents focus on the more important and less shallow aspects like friendship and camaraderie without being intoxicated? I think that’s doable and it’s worth to try that approach first before deciding to hand your teen son or daughter a bottle of beer or a glass of wine.

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