Tough lesson in teen behaviour

SOUTHERN Downs parents are invited to take a look into the often distorted world of youth and alcohol tonight.

A topical information night will begin at 7pm and is conducted by Toowoomba lawyer Adair Donaldson who has created a confronting DVD geared to make us all think about the consequences of our actions.

The Daily News spoke to some parents of Warwick teens yesterday, who believed much of their children's attitudes towards alcohol consumption were connected to home exposure and presumptions about booze.

“It all starts off with the home environment,” a Scots PGC College parent, who did not want to be named, said.

“I originally came from Belgium where drinking is very much a part of the culture and the legal drinking age is much younger when compared to here.

“Drinking (in Belgium) is not seen so much as a taboo but some kids often want to defy the norm to say they're grown up.”

Mr Donaldson and DrinkWise Australia are touring south-east Queensland to educate parents on the many aspects of drinking, such as the legal implications for hosting an underage party.

The proactive solicitor's message is from experience as he wanted to curb the disastrous youth and alcohol combination from his time watching teens in court on drink driving, drug, assault and rape charges.

DrinkWise Australia CEO Chris Watters said the aim of the tours was to arm the community with knowledge about teens and alcohol.

“As a parent it is hard not to be concerned by the daily media reports of binge drinking, and the consequent alcohol related harm including road trauma, youth violence, sexual assault and related injury to our young people, not to mention the broader community,” Mr Watters said.

“The challenge for parents is how to assist our youth in dealing with these issues.”

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