Parents, Talk to Your Teens about Alcohol
It is vital that parents talk with their teen about not using alcohol. Telling teens "you'd better not drink" or "just say no" isn't helpful or effective. Instead, parents need to have open and honest conversations about alcohol use. Consider these tips for communicating with your teen:
Be a good listener. If you are in the habit of listening carefully and respectfully without jumping to conclusions, you are more likely to have a good relationship with your teen. That relationship will make it easier to talk about difficult topics such as the consequences of alcohol use.
State your views on underage drinking. Take a firm position on no underage drinking.
Be supportive in helping your teen live by his or her views. Tell them it is okay to say, "No, I'd rather not drink."
Colleen Gengler, Family Relations Educator, University of Minnesota Extension.