Puking For Equality Boys And Girls
Puking For Equality considers one of the many reasons why so many youngsters male and female are hell bent on consuming as much liqour as possible and in the fastest time possible. The fever to drink and have fun is almost lemming like in it's approach and destiny. But there is a bit more to it than just having fun, and the consequences can be devastating for some. We witness on an almost daily basis the impact that alcohol has on the young, their behaviour and on society as a whole. alcoholin itself is not to blame and has a place in society, therefore it has to be the hand that lifts it to the lips and the responsibility of the person to whom the hand is attached!! Too often is that hand is attached to youngsters, teenagers, young adults, some not so young adults and worst of all those kids who have not yet reached their teens.
Alcohol abuse has always been around and there will always be people who, for whatever reason will drink to excess. The increase in young male abusers and female abusers has become cause for some alarm in mostly western society's where we see on an almost daily basis, the consequences of this abuse. We see it in young girls who get pregnant without clear knowledge of who the father is. It is on display on the streets most Fridays and Saturday nights and any day during school holidays. The doctors, nurses, police and babies carry the heaviest burden of a population that has no regard for it's own collective health or the health of those that they abuse during an alcoholic free for all. We are witness to people who have died for no other reason than that they were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time by drunken gangs of youth's, girls, boys and even some adults who should know better. We on the outside are shocked at the ferocity of drunken mobs and even more horrified at the sheer level of vindictiveness in their actions. For a lot of us watching young girls getting involved in street fights, lying around on the ground passed out and puking in the gutters and onpavements is exceedingly disgusting and shameful. We do as a society expect girls and women to be pacifists and nurtureres. These young women are tomorrows mothers and carers, role models for young children! However it is to our detriment that we make this a bigger problem than young boys and men drinking and abusing alcohol. Therein lies one of the mystery's of why young girls drink to excess. They are Puking for Equality, they believe that they can and must show boys and men that they can drink with the best and the worst of them, and not only keep up with them but exceed them as well.
This may or may not be a conscious train of thought for young women and the young boys and teens who also Puke for Equality with their peers and their brothers or fathers. When asked why they drink so much their defence is usually, "it's only a bit of fun" and "you have to drink to have fun". If someone does not drink they are told quite simply by the group who do drink, to "get a life". Most of us can empathise with the idea of fun plus drink, but not drink, plus, plus = fun. That is one sentiment that appears to be becoming entrenched certainly in Britain and in some other Western society's. The message is simple, 'there simply is no fun to be had without alcohol'. It is due to this attitude that teens in general now, tend to get borderline drunk before they go out!! Not, as was in most peoples lives, 'already having fun' and enjoying the odd drink between dancing and chatting with mates. Getting drunk this way is perhaps unintentional and not a mistake to be repeated with intent. For most of us puking is a painful and horrible exercise of the body trying desperately to purge itself of the poisonous content.
Puking for Equality is possibly an unrecognised undercurrent in the growing drink problem. Girls and boys want to grow up faster, no surprises there, kids have been doing this for millennia. Parents should be there to slow them down a bit and to introduce their children to some idea of self regulation when drinking. In many instances these days Young girls are not being guided or helped in taking the necessary time to become adults by parents and influential others. By the very same token many young boys and men are also being neglected by their parents and elders. Apparantly these days they are able to self regulate and take themselves through the processes and rituals of becoming useful members of society without help. Why then are we so shocked at the behaviour of our young girls and boys?? Becoming an adult involves so many milestones that should be marked and celebrated with rituals that let youngsters know that they are approaching and entering into adulthood. Without rituals there is no sense of parental recognition by our kids of reaching important points in their particular journeys through life. For this reason some youngsters mark their own passage at improbable ages and Puke for Equality! Mostly this stems from the observation of their peers, parents, idols etc, that drinking makes a person equal to any of them. The general consensus is that puking is funny and shows that a good time was had even when they cannot remember the night or the party at all. What really becomes insane is the notion that once having puked it is ok to carry on drinking! Small wonder then that so many teens and young adults are being rushed to A&E for alcohol poisoning. Kids fail to equate liqour with poison and have no real idea of how the body deals with it. Watching adults who treat alcohol with little or no respect underpins the idea that alcohol is a bit of harmless fun and is the grown up thing to do.
The rivalry between boys and girls, men and women appears to have legs of its own and is still growing. For a lot of girls and women the belief is that what ever men can do they can do better, for longer and harder! Hence drinking and Puking for Equality!!. Young boys equate drinking with being tough and grown up, the more they can drink the tougher they are and the bravado that alcohol injects, props up this belief along with other perceptions of being terribly witty and not to be toyed with. The aftermath, which can include symptoms of fear and paranoia brings them back to the bottle for a drop of courage, thereby creating dependency. The younger these kids are when they start drinking the greater the loss of sense of self, and the more likely it is that they will rely more and more on alcohol to give them confidence and a personality, however false and dangerous it may be.
Parents may endorse the perceived benefits of alcohol through their own behaviour. If mom only laughs when she is drunk or dad is more accessable when drunk, kids may interpret this as positive behaviour brought about by liquor. Even negative behaviour can lead children into drinking if it makes them feel more able to deal with problematic parenting.
Puking for Equality is not just affirmed by parental behaviour, but by reality shows and TV soaps which encourage this behaviour by the actors and producers who portray drink as being medicinal for each and every problem or occassion. Eg. 'get angry', drink neat Vodka or Whisky, 'get sad', drink neat vodka or whiskey, 'get happy', drink neat vodka or whiskey and better still dont just drink it, KNOCK it back for really cool effect!! And to prove that women are equal even in TV land, the girls knock them back just as hard as the guys if not harder. Note Roxie and Ronnie in East Enders, two beautiful girls who solve all their problems by hitting the ubiquitous vodka bottle and Puke for Equality. Just about all of the cast at some stage or another get the vodka bottle out to heal their relationship wounds. So does this reflect middle England as a whole?? It would be hard not to judge this as having some truth behind it when watching the Jeremy Kyle show, on which a lot of young teens and many young women and men share their troubles which usually involve unplanned babies and alcohol. The only equality between the men and the women in these particular instances is their total arrogance and selfishness in ignoring the consequences of what happens to children brought willy nilly into the world on the back of cider, beer and bottles of vodka!American sitcoms and shows such as the Maury show and Jeremy Springer, also bring to light the problems of alcohol and young teens and their desires for equality. The desire for equality is not just centred on drink but on sex as well. If guys can have multiple partners then so can the girls and some!
Girls and women have forgotten or so it seems, that they are different to boys and men. No amount of drinking and screwing around is going to change that. Equality goes straight out the window when girls fall pregnant. No matter how many organisations preach equality or how PC governments strive to be, there is no such thing as a pregnant man. There is no equality for girls and women left 'holding the baby' as the old phrase goes. The 'we' in a pregnancy does not exist, even if both partners are women. Perhaps if there was a 'we', then men would possibly be less inclined to dump the other pregnant half who could help them get through the whole experience with sanity intact. The only equality in such circumstances would have been when both were equally stupid about getting drunk and having sex without protection.
Puking for Equality for both boys and girls is counter intuitive and dangerous but still something we can expect from teenagers. Saying this does not mean that we should ignore it as another phase that they go through. One of the best gifts that we can give our children is the lesson of seeing and knowing that life can be great fun without drink, that confidence comes from within and not out the neck of a bottle. Knowing who we are and where we fit in is the best mental drink of all. The only way to do this is to make sure that young teens get to go out with parents to parties where they can dance and mingle with other kids their own age and have fun without drink. The more activities that young kids can get into that give them pleasure and enjoyment, the more fixed the concept of self and enjoyment will become thus creating confidence. This also means the less likely they will end up Puking For Equality. Parents may have to be a bit calculating about what friends they would like their children to have. This is understandable as friends do have a certain amount of influence on what our kids get up to. Look for different types of after school activities and find out which clubs or groups have a good ethic. Bear in mind that not all clubs or all the children at these clubs will have the character that you as a parent may find attractive. That is not the long and short of it. If in the main, after having checked the group or club out you feel your child has something to gain from it and that you as a parent see that it is overall, a good activity, club or group, try and get your child in as soon as possible. Attend the parent groups and meetings, as parents themselves can tell you a lot about their kids likes and dislikes and if they are in fact agreeable to you. The wider the variety of friends your child has the greater chance he/she will have at finding themselves, understand who they are and what they like long before other kids their age have even discovered that there are many choices in life. The same goes for wide and varied excersizes, hobbies and interests. This actually runs into the page that discusses keeping kids from boredom and the whacky decisions that bored kids make.
Try tackling drinking from a more knowledgeable point of view. Place it as a priviledge for adults. Introduce it without whistles and bells. The more natural liquor is in life as apposed to a necessity for fun, the less likely it is that kids will have it in their minds' as a major priority and the reason to turn 18. Putting it away and hiding it or letting them know that they will only get this wonderful nectar when they turn 18, is going to make them as curious as hell and believe me when I tell you that they will find a way to try it out without your presence or knowledge. Do have special meals at home at least once a month that are prepared and dished up in the manner of a first class restaurant! Include a bottle of wine for mom and dad and a small glass for the older kids, (being 13years and older, I let my kids have a sip at an age that they found it distasteful, this usually quenched their curiosity for a very long time) This way you are preparing them for enjoying meals out in up-market restaurants when they are older. It is great preparation for kids and something different for mom and dad. it is also an excuse to try out new meals! Set the tone for them by treating the meal and the evening the same way that you would for any special occassion. Great way to keep table manners up to par especially as many families now eat on their laps in front of the TV. Make sure that you and your partner do not get drunk on these evenings, as this creates a positive subconscious marker for the kids and defines behaviour for particular instances and occassions. (in fact try to make sure that you never set a bad example for your kids and drink, but don't get upset if you do slip once in a while). Should any parent find that their child has gone for the Puke for Eqaulity card, do not despair. Treat it seriously but calmly. Try to find out what triggered it once calm enough to address the whole situation, but don't even attempt to talk about this whilst the child is still drunk. In fact if the child is only semi-conscious take him/her to the emergency room for a professional diagnosis. Rather be safe than sorry. If the reason for the bad judgement is one of fitting in, (equality) let your child know how worried and disapointed you are. Talk it over try and see where your child is coming from and then set the rules. Grounding should be for a notable amount of time that will ensure that they do not WANT to have to repeat it again. Take a time out for friends that were involved which will make them all understand that you have taken this very seriously. Ask the child to find some information on drinking either from the library or off the internet and get them to show it to both parents. This may seem lame but sometimes information coming from other people can have more impact even if they don't know them. Some people may feel that keeping alcohol away from their kids is the best thing that they can do but unless they are living in the desert somewhere or some tiny little speck of a town, keeping alcohol out of childrens lives is simply not possible. so keeping them informed in the best way possible, teaching them to respect alcohol and themselves is a better bet.
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