This flies in the face of conventional wisdom, as many parents of teenagers realize. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be far from what parents of my generation believed even though as a teenager I saw an abundance of “good kids” getting drunk every day after school.
The survey was conducted in conjunction with PowerTalk 21 Day, April 21, during which MADD urges parents to talk to their kids about alcohol. For many parents that is uncomfortable conversation, second only to the talk about sex education. They want to believe their children will always tell them the truth and are reticent to push the issue too hard for fear of alienating their child.
But statistics show that most, if not quite all, teenagers at least experiment with drugs or alcohol, with most starting when they are just 12 years old. For parents this presents a challenge which is not only difficult to overcome, but one which holds their child’s life in the sway. There is no way as a parent to know exactly what your teenager is doing at every minute, and efforts to over-control your teenager are doomed to failure before you start. Knowing the risks are high and the dangers if they do start drinking, especially if they have a license to drive and a car, are what is spurring many parents to sit down and have the talk they have been dreading.
Remember, vehicle fatalities remain the number one killer of American teenagers.
In Texas, MADD is trying to get parents to start talking before it’s too late.