A Fresh Start for Back to School
It’s time to get the kids back to school and back to campus. These are exciting times! A new school year is a FRESH START for kids of all ages—a blank slate to define who they are and to set goals for this new chapter. Whether entering school for the first time, heading off for college, or anything in between, all kids will have the opportunity to make new friends and connect with peers they haven’t seen all summer, allowing for new experiences—both healthy and risky—and opportunities to make smart choices.
This FRESH START is all about making sure they are ready to make good decisions, which is why communication is so important this time of year. We have great resources for you and your family to make back to school season a success.
Ask, Listen, Learn: Talk to your elementary and middle school kids about healthy versus risky behaviors. Teach them about how underage drinking affects their developing brains and their behaviors. We made it easy to start these conversations using short videos about saying YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking.
Parents You’re Not Done Yet: For parents of older teens and college-aged kids, remember that it’s still important to empower these young adults to make healthy decisions. Remind them that underage drinking is illegal and risky behaviors such as binge drinking have many negative consequences. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the first six weeks of a student’s first year in college are a vulnerable time for harmful and underage college drinking and alcohol-related consequences because of student expectations and social pressures at the start of the academic year.
These conversations are important, but so are teaching and modeling responsible behaviors.
- Role play with kids about how to find a trusted adult, say NO, and advocate for themselves and others.
- Never overconsume alcohol, especially when children are present, and never overserve guests.
- Always plan for a safe ride home from events where alcohol may be present, and make sure those around you have a safe ride home as well.
- Show your child that it’s OK for anyone—including yourself—to refuse a drink or choose not to drink without giving an excuse or reason.
- Never serve, purchase or supply alcohol to those under the legal drinking age. It’s unsafe. It’s illegal, and it’s irresponsible.
Thanks for all you do to empower your kids to say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking. We hope you and your kids enjoy this FRESH START to a new school year!
--The Responsibility.org Team