Alcohol Awareness Month Reminds Parents to Prepare Kids for Prom, Graduation Parties
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and as teens look forward to celebrating prom and graduation, health experts hope parents take the opportunity to talk with their children to help them make healthy decisions and have a conversation about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking.
“Parents need to lay out clear expectations about drinking before their kids go out with friends for graduation parties and prom,” said Jenny Corvalan-Wood, spokesperson for the Speak Now! Campaign. “Research shows that when parents lay down ground rules and talk openly with their children about underage drinking, it makes a lasting impact on their kids.”
Corvalan-Wood, Director of Community Prevention and Early Intervention Programs for the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, and offer tips from the Speak Now! Website to help parents start a conversation with their children about underage drinking, including:
Keep it informal: choose spontaneous times to talk such as car rides, mealtimes or when you and your child are doing activities together.
Stay in the present: listen closely and focus on what your teen is saying now, not what they may have said or done in the past.
Keep an open mind: consider and respect your child’s point of view. Letting them know you respect their perspective can help them understand that your advice is based on understanding.
Timing is important: select a time to talk when you are calm and free of distractions.
“A misconception a lot of parents have is that children won’t listen to their advice, but research shows that kids really do care what their parents think,” Corvalan-Wood continued. “The more parents talk with their children about alcohol or other substances, the more likely it is that their kids will make healthy choices when their parents aren’t around.”