Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Teenage Drinking in Fort Smith

The image is //
This St. Pauli Girl beer ad appeared in the August 10, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone, p. 67. Other versions of the ad, with slight variations of the body shape, appeared in the May 18 – June 1, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone (p. 184) and the November 16, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone (p. 137). The ad shows a shapely woman’s body as a sweaty glass of beer and her head in the shape of a foaming beer head. The tag line in small print reads, “You never forget your first girl.” Sexual innuendo and female objectification are common in beer marketing campaigns. This ad could be used to discuss both topics. The expression “beer goggles” (how guys view girls after they have been drinking) could be explored, as it relates to what guys see in a girl. Also, image creation and/or manipulation by marketers could be examined.

On any given day across the country, 5,400 kids under age 16 are taking their first drink, according to the latest research. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also says that a person who starts drinking before age 15 is five times more likely to develop alcohol-related problems later in life than someone who waits until age 21.

This is becoming a huge problem in Ft Smith. Young people may not want to hear it, but these facts bear repeating, particularly at this time of year. A parent willing to take the risk of playing spoiler to what some teen may think is going to be fun may be a lifesaver. Underage drinking is involved in the deaths each year of about 5,000 people under 21.
And no one is immune. A lot of kids just think they are. Or they don't think at all.

Sometimes you don’t want to hear that and nor does the kid but fact is fact and at some point you need to address it! I do believe there is a good way and a bad way to address it. You know your student best. You need to be the leader of the home but you must be consistent in what you enforce. Your Teenager should know you care for them and you love them and that you would do anything for them first and foremost! They then need to know the expectations and where you stand on the issue. What happens when they break the rule. Just like anytime their should be consequences. Let your teenager know the consequences before they mess up. Then it is still hard for you to enforce but you must and they have no option but to understand simply b/c you warned them beforehand.

Let me share a brief story that I heard in my office last week. I have a good friend who is a great man of God and a great father. He has a true passion for the Lord and would do anything for his children. As his children have grown up 2 of them are doing amazing and are true champions. The only problem is 1 of them has gone off the deep end into drugs and alcohol. To make a long story short they sent him to a very nice expensive rehab where he was free from it all for 100 days. Yet the day he came home he went right back into it. The rehab were amazed! They had seen nothing like it. The problem is the boy had signed a contract with his dad that if he wanted to live under this dad’s roof he had to obey the rules. Well needless to say he broke the rules. Now there must be consequences! His dad said to him: “Son I love you but you messed up you can not stay here!” His son found no one to let him in so for 2 nights he slept on the street. Can you imagine allowing your son to do this? WOW! But let me tell you something there has to be consequences and you have to stick to it. The son came back to him in 2 days and said dad I will do whatever it takes and whatever you want. He is now back in a rehab and we will see how the story plays out. The point is that you have to be a parent! Don’t be afraid to stand up to your student IN LOVE! This boy knows his dad would do anything for him and loves him very much. He new the consequences before he messed up.

I want students to know at element student ministries we love them and they are welcome and will be accepted here. I want to help them fight through their sin because the truth is we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and all are only saved by His Grace!


Abby Faulkner said...

I think we should definitely do a lesson on drinking one Wednesday night since it has become such a big problem.

TP said...

This is a big concern for youth today and especially in Fort Smith. I am a local educator and I know for a fact that alcohol and drugs are a problem even with junior high kids. Parents and students need to be aware of the dangers that alcohol can cause.