I Caught My Kid with Alcohol: What do I do Now?
We think the best of our children. We hope, in the hours they are at school, at practice, at friends’ houses, or alone in their own space, they are making good decisions. Most parents never dream that they will find their child with alcohol at a young age. Children should have no interest in consuming alcohol. Children’s interests should be in other places, focused on other matters, like just being a kid. Risk-taking, impulsive, rebellious behavior are trademarks of an addictive personality. If a child is prone to being destructively curious by nature, experimenting with alcohol at a younger age is not uncommon for them. Self-exploration is only one of the ways younger children come to alcohol Many teens and adolescents discover drugs and alcohol by way of their friends, their older siblings, or their friend’s older siblings.
Catching your child with alcohol is a shocking surprised. After you take a moment to recollect yourself and take the alcohol away, there are a few measures you should immediately take. Remember, your child is an autonomous individual whose brain is still developing, meaning they are making their own decisions, just not necessarily the best ones.
Give everyone their space before having a talk
You are shocked and your sympathetic nervous system is charging. Your child is surprised, caught off guard, and probably experiencing some mix of anger, guilt, shame, and confusion. Your child’s sympathetic nervous system is also engaged. Everyone has adrenaline, cortisol, and other action-hormones surging through their veins. Parents need to understand that this moment is not the moment to have a rational conversation, especially if your child is intoxicated. Use the time and space to carefully plan out how you want to have this conversation, what kind of parent you want to be for this learning opportunity, and the consequences which will be set.
Give your child the platform
It is easy for parents to say “I don’t want to hear it, I don’t care!”. Doing so is harmful for children. This is a learning opportunity to discover the fault in your child’s decision making and help them evaluate how they could have acted differently or recognize their problematic behaviors. Give your child time to share what happened, why they chose to drank, and state their case.
Give them a fair and just consequence
Did they get inebriated and destroy the house or did they have one beer with friends as an experiment? No alcohol is a solid rule, despite the amount of alcohol consumed. A parent’s trust when violated is a parent’s trust which will take time to regain. Set out a fair and just consequence with tangible steps for a child to make amends by demonstrating better behavior. Validate your child by informing them that consequences are what happens when rules are broken. Emphasize repeatedly that they are loved, that mistakes happen, but that it takes work and discipline to remedy them. Make sure to end with love and understanding.
Stonewater Adolescent Treatment Center in Mississippi offers families and teens the perfect sanctuary for treatment. Our estate is surrounded by the rolling greenery of the Mississippi countryside, providing the isolation necessary to keep temptations away. Our clinical program is based on the latest technologies and proven therapies for rehabilitating a teen’s mind, body, and spirit. With our long term residential programs and structured academic support, teens can take time from school to get the help they need while continuing to progress in their schooling. Call us today for information on our foundation building, life cleansing treatment programs for adolescent and teenage males: 662-598-4214