Because of all the publicity, you might naturally think that most underage drinking deaths are related to driving while intoxicated. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) wants parents to know that the dangers of underage drinking are even greater off the roadways.
MADD analyzed 2010 data from the FBI, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on deaths related to underage alcohol use.
What they found may surprise you. The study showed that only 32 percent of underage drinkers died from traffic related deaths. 68 percent were from other causes. Researchers found that 30 percent died from homicides, 14 percent from suicide, 9 percent from alcohol poisoning and 15 percent from other causes.
"As parents, we are definitely aware of the dangers of drinking and driving," says MADD national President Jan Withers. "I think we're not as educated about all the dangers that drinking before age 21 can be related to. And they're very, very real."
Child health experts agree that talking with your child about alcohol use should begin before they are at the age where temptation and availability are present. That can range anywhere from pre-teen to college age. Its never too late to have that discussion.
Sometimes parents mistakenly believe that if a child is introduced to alcohol drinking in the home that its much safer for them. They believe that their kids are in a controlled environment and not on the road afterwards. But as the analysis shows, being on the road isnt the only concern parents should be thinking and talking about.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that one-quarter of people ages 12-20 (9.7 million children) reported drinking within the previous month. Among those who did not illegally buy booze themselves, 21.4 percent were supplied alcohol from parents, guardians or other adult
Most of us can remember how painfully sad we felt after our first breakup. Sometimes we were told that we were too young to know what real love was, or that it was just puppy love and wed get over it, or you might have heard the ever popular theres more than one fish in the sea.
I remember my first heartbreak. I was about 14 and the love of my life moved to Alaska. Alaska!!!
I cried for days and felt like the pain would never end. Eventually my heartbreak subsided and I moved on. My mother was very understanding " she liked my boyfriend too. She didnt tell me to get over it or to try and forget about him. She just listened, held me in her arms and let me know that yes, this was going to be hard but I was going to get through it.
I don't t think things have changed that much since my first breakup. It still hurts and is difficult to get over. When you're a pre-teen, teenager or young adult you just don't have the life experience to know that these things happen to everyone and you can and will get through it.
What can parents do to help their child deal with a breakup? Experts say the number one action parents can take is to listen. Sometimes things happen that a teen doesn't have any control over like the family is transferred and has to move away. Most times I suspect the two personalities just didn't work well together.
While it may be tempting, bringing up all the bad traits of the one who is gone won't help. It's not your break-up; it's your child's. You may be thrilled that the boyfriend or girlfriend is out of the picture, but it doesn't matter. There is always the possibility that they may get back together so don't say anything that you can't take back.
Your child is dealing with emotions that they may not be familiar with. What they need now is unconditional love and someone to talk to who will listen and respect how they feel. If youre not available they will put their heart in the hands of friends, and