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.
During spring, many teens across the country head to prom and graduation parties. As a parent, those events are frightening. Will there be alcohol at the party? If there is, will my teen drink? Will their friends drink and drive them home?
The best thing we can do as parents is to talk to our kids. The GfK Roper Youth Report has shown that parents (yes, us) do have an influence whether our teens choose to drink alcohol. The same study shows that there is a 24% increase in parents’ influence since 1991. In other words….they are listening, so be sure you are talking.
Family Talk About Drinking Program
Anheuser-Busch has created the Family Talk About Drinking Program to help us talk to our kids about drinking alcohol. The discussion should be an ongoing one. Not a lecture that you give once and then hope they got it.
The Family Talk About Drinking Program talks about the three stages of parenting, which are:
- Being A Teacher (ages 1-7): Parents teach their children how to navigate the world and explain things to them.
- The Facilitator (ages 8-13): Parents need to start the important conversations including the one about drinking.
- The Coach (ages 14-21+): Parents are their for support as they become more independent. There when we are needed, but let them start to make their own decisions.
My Personal “Talking To Your Teen About Underage Drinking” Story
Before I get to the tips to help you talk to your teen about underage drinking, I want to share a personal story.
My oldest just finished his Freshman year of college, but when he was younger, we talked a lot about drinking, both underage drinking and after 21. I hoped that he was getting the message, but you do not really know until faced with a decision.
After his first college party, he said, “Mom, I did have a really good time and you now what? Other kids were drinking and I chose not to and I still had a good time. I didn’t need to drink to have fun and fit in.” He remembered all the discussions we had and most importantly, he said, NO!
Tips For Talking To Your Teen About Drinking
Focusing on the coach stage of parenting, here are some tips for helping you coach your teen about underage drinking during the prom season.
- Finding time to talk to your teen is difficult sometimes. Use the prom season as a good opener for the conversation. When my son went to prom, we needed to sign a permission slip which included the rules of prom. One of the rules was “no drinking,” and I used that time to tell my son exactly what I expected from him at prom.
- Connect with your teen by listening first. Your teen is more likely to talk to you about those difficult issues if they know you will listen to them.
- Help your kids come up with solutions to the problems they may face. Role-playing is a fun way to come up with great solutions. (My son is a theatre major, so we have fun incorporating his passion into serious discussions.)
- Check in with a call, even if it’s just to tell them you love them. It seems like common sense, but when you tell a teen you love them, you may get blank stares and eye-rolling. But they need to know you still love them and are aware of what is going on.
- Have a plan. My kids and I have a plan in place for them to contact me if they need help and are not sure what to do. They text me “0000.” That is my signal to call them. Maybe their ride home from the prom is drunk. Maybe there is alcohol at the party and they didn’t know beforehand and they are uncomfortable. Having a plan will help your teen make the right decision.
Your teens are listening, so go talk to your kids about underage drinking!
$25 E-Gift Card Giveaway
ENDED! Influence Central is providing one of my readers with a $25 e-gift card. Take your teen to lunch or get some ice cream. This would be the perfect opportunity to talk about underage drinking with your teen.
Important Note: Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central. Be sure to read all terms before entering.
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.