In the great rat race of life, what is it that we are all racing to when there isn’t any finish line to end up at? We all meander through life with this diverse array of ambitions, values, and expectations. Some of us become sheep and adapt to the mentality of the masses. Then there are others that stray from the herd only to find the majestic wonders of life that live outside of the norm.
No matter how you slice it, we know that we are limited with time in this physical vessel that our souls have been placed into. With the clock ever ticking and an existential crisis setting in the back of our heads, we find something to drive us into the unknown while simultaneously giving us purpose. Whether it’s love and understanding, or its money, power, respect- none of us truly know the meaning to life. It’s different for everybody. However, for some that purpose is having children and continuing their legacy.
So we reproduce and march forward in the pursuit of happiness while dodging the curveballs of disease and famine that life throws at us. We do our best to shield our offspring from the chemical terrors of the world, but peer pressure and negative influence lurk around every corner. Too many in the 21st century are moreover familiar with the disease of alcoholic thinking, from either firsthand abuse or secondhand watching a loved one struggle. Those who know of its treachery are aware that alcoholism knows no bounds and can attach itself to any. So how do you know if your teen is abusing alcohol?
Alcohol Abuse and the Signs
Knowing if your teen is abusing alcohol and knowing if they are a good kid can be antithetical in many perspectives of alcoholic thinking. Most parents are quick to overlook their child’s mannerisms and give them the benefit of the doubt. Yes this is out of love, but unfortunately it enables your teenager to do whatever they please. This will only complicate matters if your teenager is abusing alcohol. Along with abuse comes insurrection and manipulation. It’s important to be on top of such matters since your teenager is retaining a lot more than we realize these days. Remember, your kiddos are not the oblivious 2 and 3 year old toddlers we’d often still like them to be.
So for starters, it’s imperative to acknowledge any signs that begin to sprout. If your teen is abusing alcohol, the child’s behavior will begin to progressively shift for the worse in most cases. Their all around attitude will become a badditude and your first instinct will be to blame it on hormones. Wrong! Well, right in some instances, but better safe than sorry. Alcoholism is a disease that can manifest itself very early on in some teenager’s lives. Observe the manner in which they conduct themselves. Often times when your teen is abusing alcohol, we can find patterns in their behavior that exemplify:
- Reclusiveness and/or Isolation
- Lack of Care
Maybe in some cases money frequently goes missing, or other times the alcohol in the cabinet constantly seems to have less than what you remembered. Either way there’s consistent rising suspicion that puts things into question that shouldn’t be ignored.
Teenage Angst vs Teenage Abuse
Addiction numbs its victims, causing them to always look at things from the perspective of the glass always being half empty. Everything in life begins to have this hollow feeling to it and a mindset of “nothing I ever do is good enough” roots itself into every forced step. Just like the drugs, the highs are high but the lows are so low. If your teen is abusing alcohol, there will be some pretty blatant signals that make themselves prevalent when the silly tantrums and/or disputes occur.
Your loved adolescent will encompass the attitude of “nothing is alright” when everything really is okay. Of course this is typical teenager foreboding, but sometimes there is more to it than what meets the eye. The voice of alcoholic reasoning will convince most to give up on themselves, and your little one is too young to deal with such pessimistic thoughts. Make sure to speak up and say something if there are any concerns whatsoever because alcoholic or not, teenagers are still extremely susceptible to your words still. They love you but don’t like you. Deep down they’re still listening to you even if it seems to be going in one ear and out the other. Having a talk with your teenager and gauging some of their reaction can be the difference between them proceeding with caution or developing into early onset alcoholism.
Not Enabling Your Teen
Holding your loved one accountable is one of the best things you can do for them. Hiding their behaviors in many ways is a sign of enabling an addict. This can be in lying to others in order to cover their tracks. It can be trying to prevent more problems appearing by taking the reins. Sometimes it’s blaming others for whatever ugly situation it is that has transpired. Or it can just be putting your child’s needs before your own as you let your sanity and health fly out the window.
Sadly dealing with and enabling your child can be a catch 22 if things get bad enough. Prevention before alcoholism has blossomed is of course the most effective technique, but alas, we aren’t always able to jump in in time and stop such. Try as hard as you want, sometimes destiny cannot be intervened. We want so much to help them, but the best help we can give is often none at all until they are ready to enter recovery and see what life is like when it’s not burning to the ground. Other than that, we can continue to be the best support they have in their lives without helping them to imbibe.