Family Talk About Drinking Program Makes Talking About Drinking With Your Teen Easier!

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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.


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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

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  1. Stephanie Larison says

    I would remind her of the horrible accidents family members have been involved in due to drinking or the other driver drinking.

  2. says

    Indeed, everything starts from home, thus, parents should start teaching values as early as toddler stage!
    It’s great that there are programs like this!

  3. Fi Ní Neachtáin says

    I have a long way to go before I have to talk to my son about alcohol and all the dangers that go with it. I hope he’s like me and doesn’t touch a drop until he’s 18 and of legal age,

  4. says

    Great post! I also slowly educating my daughter about drinking and how it affects the health. She used to curious about tasting wine, but I think she totally understands how dangerous drinking can be.

  5. Amanda Sakovitz says

    I would share a story about drinking from my teenage years and note the importance about how bad drinking and driving is.

  6. Jenna D says

    I would talk to my daughter about the damage that alcohol can do to your body and let her make her decision

  7. says

    This is such a concern now a days and having two little girls I’m already thinking of their future! I would hope that I could have an open communication with them when the time comes and them know that they could always come to talk to me about anything.

  8. Rebecca Swenor says

    These are great tips to talking to our children about underage drinking. I have been so lucky so far with my teen,. He is 18 and going to graduate next week. I believe it is so important to listen to their believes on underage drinking. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Crystal F says

    We’ve talked about it with her and will continue to talk to her about it. My youngest is also in on the conversations so we are getting her started early. Thank you!

  10. says

    Teaching by example is one of the best strategy to educate the kids. I am not a parent yet but I have noticed that most teens drink excessively because they have seen adults doing such.

  11. says

    Although I have a toddler now. I do want him to feel comfortable with telling me anything and these are great tips to get the ball rolling. It’s very important to have an open line of communication especially with teens.

  12. says

    This is good advice. It’s definitely important to discuss alcohol on multiple occasions. The more educated they are, the more rational decisions they will make.

  13. says

    We talk about this type of thing all the time. There’s someone in the family that has an alcohol problem so it’s always been an open dialog for everyone!

  14. says

    Both of my grandfathers were alcoholics so I had firsthand knowledge of what overindulging could do to a family. I had several talks with my children when they were teens. Great info!

  15. says

    If I had children I would start the discussion over the dinner table. Then perhaps continue it when we were out shopping. I thin I might even let them see a situation where there is a drunk present–it is not a pretty sight!

  16. Karen Glatt says

    Being a good role model and not having alcohol in the house, and showing my teen that I do not have a problem with drinking is so important. I would tell my teen that drinking underage is dangerous and that they need to wait until they are of legal age. I would discuss a story about the perils of underage drinking.

  17. Natalie says

    I would remind my daughter that her cousin was killed in a drunk driving accident. I would remind her of the consequences.

  18. shelly peterson says

    Discussions about topics like this are so important to have with your children. I talk to my son about the consequences and not to give into peer pressure. I make sure he knows he can come to me anytime about anything.

  19. Laura J says

    For me, I think the most important thing is to keep the communication open and talk about it. Let them know that you will pick them up anytime anywhere if they get in an uncomfortable situation…peer pressure can be so hard.

  20. Ann Fantom says

    I help my daughter make good decisions about drinking by setting a good example for her and discussing the subject with her often

  21. says

    My daughters are all over 21 now, but I honestly think the best example for them was seeing their dad and granny, who are hard core alcoholics. They showed my girls exactly why drinking to excess was a bad idea.

  22. Janet W. says

    I would talk about the statistics of underage drinking and show the effects it can have and consequences.

  23. Wendy R. says

    I always tried to be very open about drinking with my kids, starting early. I think it’s important for them to know that they can talk to you.

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