For many Maryland teens, college is the first real taste of freedom and adulthood they get. As they struggle to find their footing, they may end up at a party or with new friends who drink alcohol. Even though you probably talked to them about these types of scenarios, it is now up to them to make the right choice.
The problem is that peer pressure doesn't disappear when you graduate from high school. In some cases, it only gets worse. Intoxicated college students could put unbearable pressure on your teen to join in on the "fun." Unless your child understands how to deal with this type of barrage, you could receive a phone call from a police station.
You may still have time
If your teen will head off to college when the next semester begins, you still have time to arm your child with some ways to defeat peer pressure. These tactics include the following:
- At a party where the hosts serve alcohol, ask for some juice or soda. Already having a drink could keep others from asking your new college student whether he or she wants a drink.
- Partake in other activities on campus that don't involve alcohol.
- Find friends who don't drink.
- He or she could use you as an excuse not to drink. You may smell alcohol and ask questions.
- Help your child understand that a lot of people don't really drink as much as they say they do. Like your teen, they are just trying to fit in with the crowd.
- Let him or her know the dangers of drinking, including any potential criminal charges that could interfere with a college career and a professional one.
- Talk out ways that your teen can sidestep any attempts at peer pressure.
The more you talk to your child about this issue, the better off he or she may be. Not only could your child end up with an alcohol abuse problem, or worse, die from alcohol poisoning, he or she could end up facing charges for underage drinking, possession of alcohol by a minor or even drunk driving.
If your efforts turn out to be for naught, you may get that late night or early morning phone call that your child is in a local jail. Even though you may be tempted to let your child learn this lesson the hard way, it could be at the expense of his or her future prospects. Instead, it may be better to help your child figure out how to get back on track.