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8 Prevention Tips for Parents/Guardians
Parents are the number 1 influence on their child’s decision to use alcohol and other drugs. Learn how to keep your kids safe from the harms of alcohol and support them in making healthy decisions.
1. Talk to your child, early and often.
The sooner you talk to your children about alcohol and other drugs, the greater chance you have of influencing their decisions.
Here are some tips for talking to your kids:
- Know the Facts: Be a source of credible information and advice for your kids.
- Listen, avoid criticism, and encourage an open dialogue: Kids are more likely to listen when they know you are on their side. Remember that your goal is to have a conversation, not deliver a lecture.
- Talk with your child in advance about situations that may arise around alcohol. Discuss together ways to avoid uncomfortable situations and peer pressure.
- Choose the right time to talk: Daily activities, like dinner time or driving in the car, are perfect opportunities to talk about alcohol and other drugs.
Find more tips & sample conversation starters at https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking
2. Set clear expectations and consequences about alcohol and drug use.
3. Offer your child a safe ride home if they call.
4. Be a positive role model.
5. Secure it and lock it away.
6. Get to know your child’s friends and their parents.
7. Be involved in your children's lives & help them find ways to have fun without alcohol.
8. Take the Parent Pledge.
Become part of a large community of parents who want a safe, alcohol-free environment for their children. Take the pledge here.
2. Kaynak Ö, Winters KC, Cacciola J, Kirby KC, Arria AM. Providing Alcohol for Underage Youth: What Messages Should We Be Sending Parents? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2014;75(4):590-605.