Prevent Underage Drinking
How do your conversations about alcohol usually begin?
- A discussion between you and your spouse about who will drive home after dinner with drinks?
- A reminder to your teen as he heads out the door?
- A chat with your tween when they ask for a sip?
Conversations about alcohol happen everyday, and a key ingredient should be “responsibility.” That is why we inspire a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility. It’s not a one time thing. Since parents are the leading influence on their kids’ decision to drink or not to drink, these conversations must happen early and often, starting when your child is in elementary school, and continuing through middle school, high school, college, and beyond.
- You know most kids don’t drink, right?
- You know you can call me if your friends are drinking, right?
- Let’s talk about the rules for using the family car, okay?
Check out some of these facts to share with kids, from parenting expert, family physician and National Advisory Board Member Dr. Deborah Gilboa:
- Age matters: drinking underage negatively affects brain development.
- Women and girls are affected even faster by alcohol because of the amount of water in their bodies.
- The smaller your build, the faster alcohol will affect you, and at lower amounts.
- Certain types of drinks contain a higher percentage of alcohol than others. While a standard glass of beer is taller than a standard glass of wine, they contain the same amount of alcohol.
Why are these conversation starters important? Because when conversations around alcohol go up, underage drinking rates go down. Kids need to hear reportedly that underage drinking is illegal. And that underage drinking and drunk driving are both illegal and dangerous.
Our research shows that when conversations go up, underage drinking goes down. Since 2003, conversations between parents and kids have increased 73%. During that same period, underage drinking has decreased by 50%.
We’ve developed programs and resources to prepare for a lifetime of conversations with kids, teens, college students, and adults of legal drinking age. Read on to learn more: