Use conversation starters toTALK TO YOUR KIDS
Use conversation starters to
TALK TO YOUR KIDS
“Let’s eat dinner together tonight.”
“How about helping me wash the car? It’ll be fun if we do it together.”
“What’s bothering you? Did something happen at school today?”
“Alcohol is especially dangerous for young people, and here’s why…”
“I love you and want you to be safe, so you need to wait until you’re 21 to drink.”
“I see you put a lot of effort into this!”
“Thanks for putting away the groceries!”
“You brought the car back early. Good job!”
“What are your plans for Saturday night?”
“Who will you be with?”
“How can I reach your friend’s parents?”
“By missing curfew, you lost your car privileges this week.”
“If your friends are drinking, it’s very important that you call me.”
Be a Role Model
Use conversation starters toTALK TO OTHER PARENTS
Use conversation starters to
TALK TO OTHER PARENTS
If you think your child's friend may be drinking...
Consider that your child may feel in over his or her head and may be confiding in you with the hope you’ll intervene. If you sense this is the case, you should strongly consider calling the child’s parent and let him/her know what’s going on.
Depending on the closeness of the relationship, give your child the opportunity to encourage the friend to talk to his/her parents on their own.
Consider whether or not you would want this information shared with you if it was your child. If yes, make the call.
Before calling a parent, be sure you are coming from a place of good intention and concern.
If you do call the parent, let him/her know that they can trust you to keep this information private – and then follow through on that commitment.
Know that some of your relationships may be negatively affected in this process. Most of us are very sensitive about our kids, but better to offend than to regret holding on to information that could help the child.
Listen to your gut…it is usually right. And remember, you are acting in the best interest of your community!
If you're worried another parent may be hosting an underage drinking party...
Make sure to speak to any adult hosting a party prior to your teen attending so that they know your expectations.
Find out what the parents’ stance is on drugs and alcohol.
Ask them if they have heard of the new social host ordinance.
Talk to your teen about curfew.
Have discussions with your teen before the party about what to do if drinking occurs, e.g. not to drive, who to call, etc.
If you think your teen is drinking...
Calmly discuss whatever the circumstances are with your spouse or partner so that you are on the same page when speaking with your child. Come up with an approach you both can agree on.
Gather evidence such as paraphernalia, social media images, a list of behaviors noticed, information from the child’s phone, and/or changes in grades or friends, etc.
Decide on a good time to approach the discussion with your teen as a serious heart-to-heart, not an interrogation.
Research the risks and problems with drinking along with the effects of alcohol abuse and addiction on family and friends. In other words, be prepared if/when your child asks why they aren’t allowed to drink.
Make sure your teen knows the rules and the specific disciplinary action that will result from breaking those rules.
The best plan is to start talking early and to create a plan to reduce the risk of your teen ever beginning to use alcohol or drugs!