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Start Talking About Alcohol
Believe it or not, your kids DO listen to you. Kids cite their parents’ disapproval of underage drinking as the #1 reason they don’t drink.
The best way to keep your kids from drinking? Talk early and often.
- Start talking to kids by age 8 about the risks of underage drinking, and continue to talk about it—and voice your disapproval—regularly. Try these conversation starters.
- Set clear rules about alcohol use and enforce them with appropriate consequences.
- Help your kids say no to peer pressure by arming them with a few sample excuses like “I’ll get kicked off the team if I get caught.” or “My parents are waiting up for me tonight.”
- Be their escape route. Make sure a family member is available to pick up your child early or unexpectedly from a social situation.
- Ask your child to sign a contract promising they will not engage in underage drinking—and follow through with your part, too. You can use this sample contract.
- Help guide your children in choosing positive friends and role models.
- Discouraging underage drinking is just one of many conversations that will help keep your child healthy. Make sure you take time each day to talk—and really listen—about their friends, school, interests, and activities.
The Solution from ParentsEmpowered.org
Real Kids are Curious about Alcohol: A Family Guide to Underage Drinking Prevention (See the What You Need to Do section)
Time to Talk from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Have a Conversation, Not a Confrontation from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Alcohol-free contract from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
The Parent’s 20-Minute Guide to Communicating from the Center for Motivation and Change