The Influence of Parents on Teen Binge Drinking
"Good parenting, while very challenging at times, offers great potential for happiness. Parents can experience great joy by building a strong, loving home environment and teaching gospel principles, which can help their children lead righteous, happy, and productive lives [see 3 John 1:4]" ("Parenting", LDS.org, emphasis added).This kind of teaching is commonly understood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord has given us families so that we can learn and grow together, experiencing joy as we turn to Him and follow His path He gave: charity coupled with appropriate teachings.
So it should come as no surprise when studies done by scientists often illustrate this concept in various ways. One example is found in a recent study by researchers at BYU. What they noted in studying teens and binge drinking indicated that parenting styles have tremendous sway in their children... in a surprising way.
What these researchers found is a stunning correlation: parenting style influences how much teens drink. The results are startling. These researchers noticed a strong correlation along these lines:
* Parents who were overly strict and unkind to their kids = kids who "were more than TWICE as likely to engage in heavy drinking."
* Parents who were indulgent and overly kind = kids were more than THREE TIMES likely to engage in "heavy drinking."
* Parents who scored high in accountability and warmth/kindness = kids LEAST prone to heavy drinking.
Remember Goldilocks and the three bears? This study shows a similar correlation. If you are too "hard" -- or too "soft" -- your kids are placed at risk for binge drinking.
But with the right balance of laughter/love -- yet appropriate expectations -- your kids become resistant to the enticing siren call of heavy drinking. (In another study by different researchers, families who ate together for dinner helped children refuse drug or alcohol abuse in its entirety. We'll be sharing that study at a later date.)
In our day where college binge drinking is acceptable and in some places even rewarded with social acceptance, this kind of study points back to what the Lord has given us:
Good parenting, while very challenging at times, offers great potential for happiness. Parents can experience great joy by building a strong, loving home environment and teaching gospel principles, which can help their children lead righteous, happy, and productive lives" [see 3 John 1:4] (Ibid.).It's just a reminder that it's time to get out those boardgames and play with your children. Every moment of laughter you bring to your young today will strengthen them for their future tomorrow.
And it's also time to go get out those chore charts and work with your children. Every moment of kind discipline and yet stable boundaries you bring to your young today will strengthem them for their future tomorrow.
Here is the link to the study at BYU.
You Should Also Read:
What the prophets have said about parenting
BYU study on parenting influence
Religiosity influence on teen drug use
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