There’s a way to help prevent underage drinking – talk to your kids when they are young and continue the conversation. It may be a difficult discussion, but it is an extremely important one. Putting it off makes it even more challenging.
Thanks to the Motherhood and the Century Council, I have learned about the issue of underage drinking and received tips on speaking to my teenager. By writing this post and taking part in a Twitter Party, I will receive a stipend for my time.
Facts on Talking to Your Kids about Underage Drinking
A common misconception among parents is that you should wait until your child is older (a teen) to begin talking about underage drinking. It is best to begin early, even when he is in elementary school. Start with bits of information that are appropriate for your child. This timing opens the lines of communication, especially about “taboo” topics.
Continue the dialogue over the years adding more facts and more importantly, listening and answering questions. Always make time for your child. Let them know that what they need to say is important. You can make a difference regarding your child and underage drinking. According to Dr. Wolf, member of Century Council’s Education Board, on What Youth Say About Alcohol, “…parents are the most influential person or thing in a child’s decision not to drink at all or not to drink on occasion.”
My parents didn’t talk to me about underage drinking or the dangers of drinking alcohol. I thought it wasn’t a big deal to begin drinking at the age of 16. I avoided the many perils associated with drinking through dumb luck, but I want to give my 14 year old daughter a better chance at keeping these risks at bay.
Tips on How to Talk to Your Teens about Underage Drinking
Often, teens want to play it cool by not paying attention to their parents, or not putting much weight into what is said. It is an act, though. They hear what you are saying and it sticks with them.
- Find a good time to talk – during a car ride, during meals, etc.
- Speak to your teen like an adult – don’t belittle them
- Don’t nag or get into a power struggle
- Ask questions to keep the conversation going
- Don’t judge or criticize
- Learn the facts about underage drinking, but admit if you don’t know something or if you made a mistake
Underage Drinking Twitter Party
What have you done to help prevent underage drinking?
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, as always.