Opinion: How Parents Can Avoid College Binge Drinking Problems For Their Children

College Drinking: Is the Kegger on YOU?

You’re paying $20K a year for college and it’s funding one big party – what do you do? Well, since your darling does have to eat, you can’t cut him off completely. You do, however, need to get control back, because brother, you’ve lost it!

Clearing the Muddied Waters

Many folks believe that attending college classes and earning good grades is the sole job of the college student. If this fits you and your family, you have a bit of a tightrope to walk. On the one hand, you want your student to concentrate on her studies, but on the other hand, you want her to be more independent. It is possible to have it both ways (to a point), but you’ve got to stick to your guns regarding the money, because it all boils down to money in this scenario.

Reevaluate Expenses

Whether you’re paying for everything from books and tuition, room and board, parking and food or just some of it, it’s necessary to take a second look at what your money is being spent on.

Does Junior have access to a bank account with money available for his use? If so, consider putting less in it. Is he living on campus? Think about putting him on the campus meal plan; this will nearly eliminate the need for him to have cash-access in order to feed himself. If he doesn’t like the food, well then, he needs to show you that he can handle more money without swallowing it all at the keg parties!

Pay for tuition, books and supplies yourself; if you can’t be there to do it, find out the basic costs, deposit that much into a pre-paid credit card, and you’re done. If she feels a need for more money, then reality needs to set in; that girl needs a job! Working for her bread will most likely give her a greater appreciation for the value of a dollar, and having to buy her own hooch may make her think twice before going on a bender.

A Larger Problem

If your college student meets these new rules with a fair amount of chagrin and displeasure, rest easy; it’s normal. However, if you receive hostility, anger, withdrawal, or even violence or stealing in response to you reining in the cash, you may have a bigger problem on your hands.

Alcoholism and drug addiction do happen, and it’s important to get your child the help he needs if this occurs. It may be necessary to look into rehab programs. If her problem is severe, though, college may need to be put on hold until she can get clean and healthy again. She’s not getting anything out of her classes drunk and he’s not even attending if he’s high, so don’t throw your money away. Instead, apply it towards getting your college student the help he or she needs.

Stick to Your Guns

No matter what you do, don’t give in. Remember, your darling has had his or her whole life to learn how to get you to do what he or she wants; now it’s time to remind them you still hold the reins! Work together, get help if it’s needed, and realize that this, while one of the last lessons you’ll teach your dependent, college student, is one of the most important.

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