Teen Drinking: Continuing the Family Conversation

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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.

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Last month we started talking about how we can talk to our teens about underage drinking, and how we can coach them up to make responsible choices. This month, let’s get specific. It’s June and around here that means Proms are ongoing and Graduation is looming. With the help of the Family Talk about Drinking, sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, I want to break-down a couple strategies that we, as parents of adolescents, can employ to empower our youth. I certainly want my beautiful teenager empowered to make good decisions!

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Last month, I asked you to share some thoughts on how you would talk to your teen about underage drinking and your responses were fantastic! I was so heartened to see that many of you are already engaging in dialogue with your teens. Like we talked about last time, YOU are the most important determinant of what they are going to choose – you may not decide for them, but you empower them to make the best decision possible when temptation arises. Now, how do we turn our knowledge into their power?

On the Family Talk about Drinking site, Parenting Coach MJ Corcoran told us that finding windows of opportunity to talk to our teens is key. She also told us that asking open-ended questions to help our teens think through the consequences of their decisions gives the kids the chance to imagine themselves succeeding in saying no to underage drinking. Over the past few weeks I have been using these tips to talk to our teen. An ideal window of opportunity for me has been when we are in the car together. Sometimes she is in the backseat, sometimes in the front, but either way I know I have her captive attention for a set period of time and that creates space to communicate with minimal distractions.

 

Using our travel time together has been great! It has given me the opportunity to listen to her share her concerns and thoughts, and it has forced her to stay engaged in a conversation long enough to at least receive the message I am sending regarding underage drinking. During these captive conversations, I have found that the advice given by Coach Corcoran about asking open-ended questions is invaluable. Instead of asking her how she’s going to say no, I ask things like, “How do you think it will feel if someone offers you a drink?” or “What do you think could happen if you make a mistake and have a drink?”. Asking questions like this gives her space to think and explore, and the lack of a simple “yes” or “no” as an answer means our conversation keeps flowing.

So how will you continue to the conversation with your teen?

 

Comments

  1. CourtneyLynne says

    Ahhhh thankfully my daughter is only 3 so I have many years before I have to worry about this kinda thing….important to be able to talk about this kind of thing to kiddos though!

  2. says

    My kids are 2,8,and 10 and I have been talking to them about drinking and consequences in conversation as it comes up. Although as they get older I will have a more serious conversation with them.

  3. says

    I think there should be a balance on reminding them about drinking without pushing them to be too curious to try them or being so strict for them to rebel. They just need to start learning the consequences and start to be responsible with their action.

  4. Wendy says

    I have a 15 year old in my life who I worry about. It an be hard with her issues to talk to her. Thank you for the great tips! I will be using them.

  5. says

    My kids are all under 9 but we have had plenty of discussions about alcohol already. The are still at ages where they feel comfortable asking questions about EVERYTHING so it has been really great to have open talks about drinking and other things.

  6. Angelic Sinova says

    Teen drinking is definitely something parents should discuss prior to the teen years. With all the technology and social media out there today, it seems like this generation of kids is growing faster than generations before <3

  7. michele d says

    My kids are young but I do have two 18 year olds. They are very level headed about alcohol and drugs. I am blessed that they are great kids.

  8. says

    My kids are all grown, but my husband and I started talking to them about the consequences of teen drinking when they were pre-teens.

  9. says

    I will be totally honest in saying that I absolutely fear the teen years lol! I think I will probably keep up the same practice my father did when I was young- a no questions asked pick up from him no matter where I was and at what time. It worked! I never felt the need to get in the car with anyone who was intoxicated because I knew he would come get me at any time, no matter what.

  10. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    My kids are only 7 & 10, but this is a conversation that I need to think about having with them soon! I worry about all the peer pressure out there for kids these days.

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