• Drinking: Catch it Early

    When it comes to alcohol, early detection can keep a bad idea from becoming a nightmare.

    But how do you know if your middle grader is drinking? Look for these warning signs: bloodshot eyes,

    excessive mood swings, lower grades, poor school attendance, and a change in friends.

    If you suspect your middle grader has tried alcohol, seek help from your school counselor or pediatrician.

    Talk to your child about your concerns, and tell him about the dangers of drinking (problems thinking clearly, addiction, legal trouble).

    Let your child know that kids who start drinking in middle school are more likely to end up with a serious

    drinking problem. And tell him that research shows young drinkers may remember 10 percent less of what they learn than their classmates.