What Parents Should Know About Underage Drinking

Parents – You Can Influence Your Children

Boost Their Self-Esteem
Teens who have high self-esteem are better equipped to make smart choices, deal with peer pressure, and avoid underage drinking. Boost your teen’s self-esteem by:
• Praising achievements
• Helping set realistic goals
• Giving choices
• Offering responsibilities
• Focusing on teen’s strengths without comparing to others
• Taking all of your teen’s concerns seriously

Talk To your kids about alcohol

Starting the Conversation – (These tips are useful when talking about tobacco or drugs, too.)
Say something to show you are open-minded, then ask your teen about his or her own experiences. Use thought-provoking questions that can be asked in a supportive, non-threatening way. For example:
• Do you know kids who drink?
• How has it affected them?
• Have you ever been offered alcohol by someone you knew?
• If so, what did you say? If not, what would you say?
• What if someone really pushed you?
• What would you say if they said… Is there another side to this view?
• Do you see any risks?
 Do you have any concerns?

Be Involved

As a parent you can work with your local school system to help prevent underage drinking. Working together parents, teachers, administrators and coaches can be powerful influencers of teen behavior. This checklist can help as you talk with your school:
• My teen’s school will help/intervene if there is reason to believe a teen is drinking.
• My teen’s school requires parents to be kept informed of school policies regarding underage drinking.
• I will actively support school policies on underage drinking and the enforcement of them.
• If I hear information from my teens about potential issues in school, I will share those issues with school authorities.