I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
A few week ago, I gave you my tips on talking to your teen about underage drinking. Anheuser-Busch has created a Family Talk About Drinking program to help parents talk to their kids about drinking. The Parent Guide is a great resource if you are unsure how to bring up the topic or what to say.
Today I’m going to share some of my personal insights from talking to my own teens and tweens about drinking.
Did Our Underage Drinking Talks Help?
My oldest is in college, so we have had many conversations about whether my talks about underage drinking have helped at all. He said the discussions we had definitely made a difference. He liked that my husband and I shared our personal stories, both good and bad. He said because we were very honest about our own drinking past, he felt it was more of a two-way discussion rather than us just lecturing him on what he shouldn’t do.
We have always been open with our kids, age appropriately. I didn’t share my drinking history with my 7-year-old, but when they were in high school, I shared stories of my past. Stories where I had gone to parties where there was drinking and I was uncomfortable. We talked about the differences in underage drinking over the last 30 years. They asked questions and I answered honestly.
How I Started The Conversations
In most cases, I did not have a planned “alcohol talk.” Instead, I chose times when we were in the car and maybe we heard a beer commercial, so I would bring up the topic. Because we’ve had the conversation often throughout their lives, it was never unusual or out of place. It was always a two-way conversation. Longer drives with your teen are perfect for talking. When you spend four hours in the car with them, they tend to open up more.
Reminders, Reminders, Reminders
Even though we have this conversation often, I still remind them every time they go to a party, whether it’s a Prom party, graduation or a birthday party. I ask these questions every time:
- Will the parents be home?
- Who will be there?
- Will there be drinking?
- What will you do if there is drinking and you didn’t know it was going to happen?
- What time will you be home?
- How will you get home?
- What will you do if your driver appears unable to drive?
I remind them if there is drinking or if they are uncomfortable with anything, to call and we will pick them up. They will not be in trouble for disturbing my sleep. They often roll their eyes, but my teens have said they definitely would call me. I also ask them to call me before they leave.
Yes, I do still worry, but I also trust that I am giving my kids the tools to make wise choices. I know they will not always choose the best choice, so I let them know I am here when they need me.
Have you had the family talk about underage drinking? How do you approach the topic with your kids? Did you find the parent guide helpful? Share your thoughts and tips below.
Disclosure: I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.