One of the most difficult things for most parents is to practice tough love. No parent wants to practice this emotionally-draining act, but sometimes it is the only option for a child addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Current research has shown that 10% of teens are binge drinkers. This as reported by abbc.net.au. Some of the graphic photos and stories of their alcohol abuse are both revolting and terrifying.
Is “tough love” the answer? One Australian expert thinks tough love is the answer, but also that we should work more toward positive reinforcement and celebration of those who choose to abstain rather than placing all of the focus on punishing those who use.
I certainly agree that mothers and fathers have a responsibility to be a parent first and a friend second! If the child is using and abusing alcohol, tough love is needed.
The Aussie expert, PaulDillon believes 'tough love' to be the only parenting style that is an effective tool in the education of young people about drugs and alcohol.
In his study, he found that 'tough love' given to a child can yield a significant reduction in the likelihood of the child drinking excessively at 16.
For many young people, particularly girls, sweet 16 can herald the start of peer pressure to partake in drinking, smoking and sex. A continued positive message from parents as well as modeling good behavior is essential in keeping teens clean and sober.
I advise parents to take an 8 hour MIP class with their teens. These alcohol classes help keep parents and children on the same page and can be used a reference throughout the teenage years.