I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Did you know that as the parents of teens, you have the greatest influence on your teens’ decisions about drinking alcohol, according to the GfK Roper Youth Report? And your influence is growing! The same report shows a 24 percent increase in parent’s influence over their teens since 1991! This means that it’s really important to communicate with your teen!
Family Talk About Drinking is a program started by Anheuser-Busch over 20 years ago, and the program (now also an awesome website!) helps parents with tips on having open conversations with their children of all ages. Your kids are going to make their own choices about many high-stakes activities throughout their adolescence, but the choice not to engage in underage drinking is one you can help them make in lots of ways. According to Family Talk About Drinking, there are three main stages of parenting, including Being a Teacher (ages 1-7), the Facilitator (ages 8-13) and the Coach (ages 14 and up). As the parent of a teen, it’s important for me to Coach my teen through situations (like prom or graduation) where she may encounter alcohol. She definitely getting to that age – and it’s time to start coaching!
Educator and parent coach MJ Corcoran provides tips for parents to help coach their teen:
- Find a Window: If your teen is like mine, even finding the opportunity to talk can be difficult as we balance schedules. Grabbing opportunities when you can, like prom and graduation, are good chances to have a conversation about underage drinking and establish your expectations about their behavior.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions: Asking open-ended questions helps your teen think through potential scenarios where they might encounter alcohol, and how they might handle those situations.
- Encourage Accountability: Don’t let them off the hook with discussions about drinking that occur only before an event – keep them accountable by setting times for them to call you to check in. This layer of accountability gives them incentive to stick to the decisions that made more sense at home than at the party.
- Connect with your Teen: Listen to their opinions. Respect their beliefs. They are pretty interesting people and if you can foster an environment of mutual respect and consideration they will be much more likely to reciprocate.
Putting it all together can be the most challenging part. We plan to use some scenario activities as well as the call-in to help our teen make her best choices. It seems so overwhelming to be a parent in this age of rapidly changing and developing tech – but we are still an important influence in our kids’ life when it comes to whether or not they will decide to drink.
The Family Talk About Drinking website has information available about how to communicate messages about underage drinking with your children at each age and stage, so check it out. This is a very important issue, so look through the site for tips and strategies – let’s work together to educate and empower our kids to make responsible decisions. The choice is theirs, but the responsibility to educate them to make the right one is ours!
Also, be sure to enter our giveaway for your chance to win a $25 e-gift card! Use this to plan a fun little outing where you can talk to your teen!
US Only. 18+. Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstakes, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central.