The conversation with your teen about alcohol can be scary and intimidating, but learning from other parents can help! Here are what a few parent’s had to say about how the conversation went for them:
“I approached my daughter when she was a pre-teen and I am glad that I did. She really listened to me and I was not as scared or uncomfortable as I thought I would be. The conversation needed to happen, and now that she is 16, we talk about it very openly, and that conversation opens doors to other conversations, based on my experience.”
“I believe in being very upfront when it comes to talking with my boys about alcohol and the dangers of underage drinking. Initially they were a little apprehensive about the talk, but once I started asking some direct questions they opened up about what they knew and what they had been seeing and hearing at school. The conversation with them was very enlightening for me as a parent. To hear from my middle-school child on how many kids were already experimenting with alcohol at such a young age was a little bit of surprise to me. Overall the conversation was good, but I know as a parent that this conversation is one that doesn’t stop—it is a talk that needs to continue to happen from year to year.”
“As parents of three teenagers, we have spoken with them repeatedly about alcohol: its effects; how it impairs your judgement; the long term effects on brain development; and many other issues it can cause. We also discuss drugs with them. We caution them that even if they don’t drink, other kids do….so we remind them that they must pay attention and not get themselves in a position where someone else’s poor judgement gets them into trouble or danger as well. We are always available to come get them no matter what. We truly believe that this is a much larger problem than most parents believe or understand; so, that’s why we discuss it with them pretty frequently.”
“I decided to talk with my teen age boys about alcohol because if I didn’t someone else would! And that ‘someone’ wouldn’t be their father. Most likely someone encouraging my sons to drink. The conversation was surprisingly easy! I knew what I wanted to say. The resources for parents on the Missouri Safe and Sober website help me to build the script I used to organize my thoughts and words and helped me with the confidence I needed. The conversation about drinking isn’t a one-time deal. I mean it’s a conversation I need to have with my teens every month if not every couple of weeks. I want them to know where I stand on the topic!”
If you are ready to start the conversation with your teen about alcohol check out our article “How to start talking to your teen about alcohol” for help tips and information.