Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol consumption, especially when parents create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions. In fact, around 80 percent of children feel that parents should have a say in whether they drink alcohol.
Our Parents, Take a Stand campaign provides resources to parents to talk to their children and prevent youth substance use. Find all the tools you need here and help us take a stand against youth substance abuse.
Talking to Your Kids about Alcohol
No parent wants to even think that their children would ever, or is, drinking while underage. But one of the best ways to make sure that your child doesn’t drink underage, is to talk to them about all things relating to alcohol. It can be a hard and daunting task, but it is the only for sure way that you know that your kids know the risks and consequences. Often times, the conversation will take more than just one sitting, but as a parent you should take the active steps to initiate the conversation.
Here are a few tips and key points you can bring up when talking to your kids about alcohol.
*Even if your child says what you want to hear, “I don’t drink”, it is still important to talk together about alcohol.
*Make agreements with your kids. Some ideas are as follows,
- NO drinking alcohol until they turn 21
- NO socializing in places where other kids are drinking
- NO riding in in vehicles where the driver has had any amount of alcohol
*Impose a consequence if your violates an agreement an impose them consistently
*Discuss the long and short term risks of underage drinking
Here are some thing for you to remember when talking to your kids,
*Listen to your child’s concerns respectfully, and use positive parenting techniques
*Communicate directly with your children
* Emphasize common goals
*Remember and recognize that conflict is normal
*Avoid getting into a debate with your kids
Talking with your kids can be difficult, but there are many resources to help you along the way. Follow the link to download your free copy of MADD’s pocket guide, Talking With Kids and Teens About Alcohol, http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/