Changing the Kiwi booze culture: It starts at home

Last updated 09:34 11/12/2012

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There are several reasons why we have a binge drinking culture but I believe they all start at home. I use to binge drink because my mum used to drink, but I was never allowed to. So I did it as soon as I could, as much as I could. But I grew out of it.

If parents were to talk to their children about it, perhaps there wouldn't be the big 'it was naughty when I was a kid, so now I want to be naughty' culture that could be the basis for binge drinking, drugs, and a whole slew of other things.

Social media is also to blame for making it too easy to get people to parties. It's not social media's fault. Again, it starts at home. It's the fault of the person using it, or the parent who is supposed to be in charge.

One far fetched idea is that it's the government's fault. It is now nearly impossible for middle-class families to get by unless both parents are working. With very little support, and money being taken from education every time John Key opens his mouth, the problem is going to get worse. The parents won't be around and the children will go where they feel like they are more appreciated.

I am currently Reading Nigal Latta's book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers". At first I was of the mind that I didn't need to - I only picked it up because I was bored. Now I'm glad I did. There are a lot of useful tools in there to help parents who may be struggling with out-of-control teenagers who binge drink. He also helps explain why they may be doing it.

As a father of seven children, two of whom are already 13, I do what I can to take an interest in what they are doing and do my best to educate them about the real world so that they're more prepared for it when they're more interested in it.

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