As a parent, we all want to see our children grow up to be healthy and successful. Alcohol and tobacco use isn't something we typically think about when they are young. And while it might seem easier to keep them sheltered from the hard realities of the world or allow them to use alcohol or tobacco under your supervision, this could actually help make matters worse. Studies have shown that when teens are allowed to drink under parent supervision, they drink larger amounts, more often, outside your watchful eye. This is because they have a false sense of security that drinking or using nicotine products is okay, and if they can handle one beer with a parent, two or three with a friend should be fine as well. Unfortunately, this logic is wrong. Teens frontal cortex, or the front part of the brain that control logic and good decision making, isn't fully developed yet (and won't be fully developed until approximately 25!). This is also why we cite the teenage years as being irrational and void of all common sense (probably why teenage boys will answer yes to the age old question of "if your friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?").
With teens brains not developed, and them unable to make and understand logical decisions, it might seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Are we supposed to cover them in bubble wrap and just wait until they turn 25? NO! There are some simple things we can do to help guide our teens choices and decision making, to see them thrive and become productive members of society just by changing our parenting styles. I know, I know...there is a guide to parenting? Yep! While we all have different methods and reasons for the way we do things, researches have found that when parents educate and guide their kiddos in these specific ways, they are more successful in preventing substance use.
Check out the guide on parenting to prevent substance use today at: