Parents are the number one influence on a teen’s decisions to drink or not drink alcohol. Despite what you may think, your teen is listening to you.
They care about your thoughts on alcohol and life in general. It is up to you to set an example and have conversations about alcohol at home.
Safe and Sober talked with Missouri teens to see if their parents had ever talked to them about alcohol. Each of them remembered if this had, or had not happened.
We found that many of teens had never had a conversation about underage drinking at home.
One teen said, “It was never something that was brought up at my house. It just didn’t exist.”
Another teen commented, “No, neither my mom nor dad ever brought it up.”
A few teens remembered a conversation with their parents.
One teen said his parents told him that drinking was not worth it because he had too much going for him.
Another remembers her parents telling her that she wasn’t allowed to have alcohol.
Finally, one teen did not remember a conversation happening at home. Her parents only had one with her after she was in trouble for drinking.
Start talking to your teen early and before a consequence may come. Since your teen is listening, remember to let them know about your rules on drinking. You can’t expect them to know your stance on the issue if you haven’t talked to them about it.
Make time in your busy schedule to bring it up and keep talking about it over time. A conversation about alcohol may feel uncomfortable at first, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Tell your teen that they can come to you with any questions or concerns they may have. By starting this conversation, it will be easier for them to come to you with questions, problems or for help.