TALK EARLY, TALK OFTEN:
Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen
It can be daunting to talk with your children about alcohol use, but well worth the efforts parents put into it.
In fact, research shows that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don't have such conversations.
You have more influence over your kids' attitudes and decisions about alcohol than you think!
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, here are some guidelines to assist you with these conversations:
Listen Before You Talk - In our anxiety to share our wisdom, we sometimes forget to listen. For kids, knowing that we are really listening is more important than knowing "all the answers."
Talk to Your Child and Ask Open Ended Questions
- Talk to your child regularly - about their feelings, their friends, and their activities. Try to avoid questions that have a simple "yes" or "no" answer.
Be Involved - Get to know your child's friends and continue to educate your child about the importance of maintaining good health.
Set Expectations, Limits, and Consequences - Make it clear you do not want your child drinking or using drugs and that you trust them not to. Talk about possible consequences, both legal and medical, and be clear about what you will do if the rules are broken.