08 Apr 4 Things to remind your teen of during alcohol awareness month
April is Alcohol Awareness month. Beginning in 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) selects a different theme each April to raise awareness and address the stigma associated with alcoholism. The theme for 2019, “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”, speaks to the role parents play in the choices teens make.
As a parent, it’s important to talk with your teen about underage drinking. By starting the conversation early, you help them avoid consequences in the future.
Let your teen know that they’re making a healthy choice for themselves and their future when they choose not to drink. By postponing their first drink they’re less likely to become dependent on alcohol. They also set themselves to avoid some of the health risks associated with too much drinking.
Being active in the life of your teenager is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Encourage them to know that drinking under age isn’t a rite of passage. And isn’t something they have to do to fit in. In fact, according to the CDC, most teenagers report that they don’t drink. Remind them to find friends that will help them make safe choices and be healthy. Alcohol is never necessary for friendship, or a good time.
Start conversations with your teen by asking questions about their life and stay updated on what’s going on. Be a safe place for them to go when they need advice. Connecting with your teen means they’ll be more likely to talk to you when something is going on and they need help.
To help you get started in conversations with your teen about alcohol, here are four things to remind your teen of when it comes to drinking under 21:
- That drinking while they’re underage is a choice.
- The choices that they make as a teen are important. By not drinking now, they’re less like to become dependent on alcohol later in life.
- That drinking to feel less stressed or relaxed is never safe. Stress can be dealt with in healthy ways like exercise, reading or listening to music.
- To call you or a trusted adult if they’re ever in a situation with alcohol where they’re uncomfortable and need help.
Never underestimate your role as a parent. Your voice is the most important one your teenager can hear. Encourage them to surround themselves with positive people who will help them make safe choices daily.
More Resources for Alcohol Awareness Month: