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Boys and alcohol

Teen boys are more likely to drink alcohol than girls. Why?
teen boy drinking beer
Megan de Beyer with Jason Bantjes

Pic: Getty Images

Article originally in Parent24
We have to ask ourselves what messages we are sending to teenage boys that make them think drinking is a necessity, not a choice.

Myth or fact?
  • Discuss with your partner whether you agree with these statements, and create a family alcohol policy from there:
  • It is normal for boys when they are growing up to try out alcohol.
  • It is sensible for parents to allow their boys to drink alcohol.
  • Allowing young boys to consume alcohol teaches them to drink responsibly.

Boys use alcohol because it helps them to:
  • relax
  • make friends (especially with girls)
  • gain acceptance
  • feel grown-up.

Some psychologists believe. . .
  • Drinking is a normal part of socialization that enables young adults to experiment with and acquire adult behaviour.
  • Complete abstinence is as deviant as excessive drinking.
  • In our society drinking alcohol in moderation is normal.

You will need to decide…

  • At what age am I comfortable for my son to start drinking?
  • Where and under what circumstances is it acceptable for my son to drink?
  • When do I want my son to start buying his own alcohol?
  • What do I want my son to know about alcohol and drug use?

Some guidelines on alcohol . . .
  • Be aware of your son’s access to alcohol in your home.
  • Set clear limits and boundaries and discuss these with your son.
  • Be consistent with the limits you set.
  • Enforce the limits you set.
  • Be conscious of the example you set.
Megan de Beyer has a Masters degree in Psychology. She practised in both Cape Town and Durban and has run many successful parenting workshops at high schools.


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