The following information comes from ” Real Kids are Curious About Alcohol: A Family Guide To Underage Drinking Prevention” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; April 2010)

There are six actions you can take today to help keep your child alcohol free.

  • TALK EARLY AND OFTEN WITH YOUR CHILD
    • Establish and maintain an open line of communication.
    • Get into the habit of talking with your child every day. This will make it easier for you to have conversations about serious subjects when necessary.
  • GET INVOLVED
    • Talking with your child about his or her activities opens up an opportunity for you to share your interests and values
    • Young people are much less likely to have mental health and substance abuse problems when they have positive activities to do and when caring adults are involved in their lives.
  • BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL
    • Think about what you say and how you act in front of your child. Your own actions are the most powerful indicator to your children of what is appropriate and acceptable in your family.
    • Do not take part in illegal, unhealthy, or dangerous practices related to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs or your child may believe that these practices are OK no matter what you say.
  • TEACH KIDS TO CHOOSE WISELY
    • Teach your child how to form positive relationships
    • Help your child to understand what qualities to look for in a friend.
  • MONITOR YOUR CHILD’S ACTIVITIESSET RULES
    • Know where your children are and get acquainted with your friends.
    • Limit the amount of time your children spend without an adult being present. Unsupervised children have more opportunities to experiment with risky behaviours, including the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, and they may start substance abuse at earlier ages.
    • Make clear, sensible rules for your child and enforce them with consistency and appropriate consequences.
    • Following these rules can help protect your child’s physical safety and mental well-being, which can lower his or her risk for substance abuse problems.

Click here for the entire printable guide.