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PARENTS

As a parent or caregiver, you play a vital role in influencing your child's attitudes and behaviors. You serve as a role model on the use of alcohol, control the availability of alcohol in your home, and help set your child’s expectations concerning drinking behaviors. A recent study shows that children whose parents are involved in their lives — hold regular conversations, attend after-school events, and listen to their problems — are less likely to drink or smoke.

In this section you will find warning signs of a drinking problem, questions to ask yourself about your child and community, prevention strategies parents can take, and resources for effective parenting, which include both useful publications and helpful organizations. 

As a parent or caregiver, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know how to discuss alcohol use with your child and where to get helpful information?

  • Do you know your child’s friends, and do you feel that they provide positive influences on your child’s activities?

  • Do you know the legal consequences of underage drinking?

  • Do you know your State’s laws about providing alcohol to anyone under 21?

Prevention Strategies

 

As a parent or caregiver, you play a vital role in influencing your child. You serve as a role model on the use of alcohol, control the availability of alcohol in your home, and help set your child's expectations concerning drinking behaviors. A recent study shows that children whose parents are involved in their lives — hold regular conversations, attend after-school events, and listen to their problems — are less likely to drink or smoke.

In the home, take these steps:

  • Set a good example for your children regarding the use of alcohol.
  • Encourage your children to talk with you about their problems and concerns.
  • Get to know your children's friends and discuss ways your children can avoid drinking when they are feeling pressured by peers.
  • Talk to other parents about ways to send a consistent, clear message that underage drinking is not acceptable behavior or a "rite of passage."
  • Encourage your children to participate in supervised activities and events that are challenging, fun, and alcohol free.
  • Learn the warning signs that indicate your children may be drinking and act promptly to get help.
  • Make sure you're at home for all your children's parties and be sure those parties are alcohol free.
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