Teens in Roanoke City are like any other teens. Peer pressure and social media can have a lot of influence on teens, but parents can have even more.
According to research, parents that talk to their teens about alcohol are much less likely to drink before age 21 than those who don’t.
So start talking.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, these tips can help you get started:
Find out what your child already knows.
- Ask simple questions like: What do you know about alcohol? Have your friends mentioned it or do you know kids your age that drink? Do you know what negative things can happen when youth drink alcohol?
Teach your child the facts.
- Remind your child that alcohol is a powerful drug that slows the body and brain down and alcohol is illegal for anyone under the age of 21.
Give your child clear rules.
- Good rules make it clear to your youth that it is not acceptable for them to drink alcohol when they are under the age of 21. And let them know the consequences if they do drink.
Be prepared to answer your child’s questions.
- Be honest because this topic can bring about serious questions, so know the facts about alcohol use and the effects when talking to your child.
Talk with your child about how to say “no.”
- Make sure your child knows you can be the excuse. Remind them they can say “My mom will know if I do this, she has a 6th sense about these things and she would call your mom if she finds out, so no thanks, I don’t want any of us getting into trouble!”
The following links may help you navigate this process and remember parental involvement is key to reducing underage drinking: