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The Questions that Matter Most: 3 Talking Points to Prevent Drunk Driving

The Questions that Matter Most: 3 Talking Points to Prevent Drunk Driving

Kids ask all kinds of questions. From the day our kids start talking in complete words and sentences, they begin to investigate and examine the world around them. They want to know how things work. They are curious about what various words mean. They want to understand the ideas or inventions that seem incomprehensible. For example, they wonder how airplanes stay in the air, what gluten is, or where electricity comes from. They look to you – their parent or guardian – as their role model as they seek out answers to these questions every day.

Can you think of some of the crazy, funny or insightful questions your son or daughter has asked over the years?

Maybe you can recall the questions your daughter asked before she went off to kindergarten, as she begged to stay home with you and asked why it was important to learn. Now she is eager to fly, to grow up and to be her own person. She is learning to be independent and strong. It might be hard to think back that far, but I’m sure we all can recall the sweet and innocent questions that made us laugh, made us snicker, made us uncomfortable or even made us cry.

Throughout their lives, kids look to parents for the answers. From the absurd to the complex and the embarrassing, we teach our kids all kinds of things. Isn’t it time to talk to them about drinking and driving? As a parent, it’s your role to bring up this conversation at home. Your teen may not have asked you about drunk driving yet, but it one of the most important questions they could ask you. Are you prepared for that conversation?

Here are three simple talking points we encourage you to bring up with your teen at home as you work to prevent drunk driving:

  1. It’s never worth it. – At Safe and Sober, we hear far too many stories from parents and teens who have been negatively impacted or affected by a drunk driving crash. We have interviewed countless people who tell us over and over again that drunk driving is never worth the risk. Some of those personal stories are featured on this website. We encourage you to be proactive with your teen, and share with them now that drunk driving is never worth the pain, suffering, regret or loss that it brings.
  2. Call a trusted friend, parent or other adult if you need help. – As a parent, one of the best pieces of advice you can give your teen is that they should never feel embarrassed to call for help. It is better to admit they have made a mistake or put themselves in a dangerous situation than it is to get in the vehicle with someone who is driving impaired. Tell your teen that you are always available – night or day – to help them avoid a life-threatening situation. It is better for them to admit they have made a mistake early on and call you for a ride home, than it is for them to end up in trouble with the law or seriously injured in a car crash.
  3. Surround yourself with positive influences. – Teach your teen that it is easier to make a decision to not drive drunk if you are hanging out with friends who aren’t drinking. Unfortunately, alcohol impairs the decision-making process. It is easier to make poor decisions to drive drunk or ride with a drunk driver when you are surrounded by friends or people who are “all doing it.” First and foremost, encourage your teen to surround themselves with friends who don’t drink underage. Underage drinking is illegal and dangerous. Second, teach your teen to choose friends who will encourage them to make responsible decisions with alcohol use (even after they are 21). This includes hanging out with friends and at parties where everyone knows and understands there is an expectation to plan for a sober driver.

These three simple talking points are a great way to get the conversation started. If you need any further ideas or would like guidance as you continue this talk with your teens about drunk driving, check out the articles below, or email us at info@missourisafeandsober.com.

mackenzie
Mackenzie@missourisafeandsober.com
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