Next week is Thanksgiving which marks the beginning of the holiday season. The holidays are a time for celebrations with friends and family and a perfect opportunity to talk with the kids and young adults in your life about alcohol.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are among the most common drinking days of the year and also a time for increased risk of underage drinking. Fortunately, as parents/guardians and caring adults, we have the power to impact the decisions that the young people in our lives make around alcohol use. In fact, 83% of youth between the ages 10-18 say that their parents are the number one influence on their decision to drink alcohol.1

Here are 5 easy steps adults can take to help our kids stay safe and alcohol-free during the holidays.

1. Secure and monitor the alcohol in your home.

If you are having a holiday party where alcohol is being served, make sure you have a plan for the kids.

2. Talk (and listen) to your kids about alcohol. Encourage an open dialogue.

  • Discuss how to avoid uncomfortable situations and how to handle peer pressure.
  • Talk to your older children about not providing alcohol to their younger siblings.

3. Set clear expectations.

Let your kids know that you expect them to not drink alcohol and explain why this is important. Share with them the impact of alcohol on the teen brain.

4. Be available.

Let your kids know that they can always call you, no matter the situation in which they find themselves.

5. Plan fun activities for your kids that do not involve alcohol.

Holiday fun runs, tree lightings, and ice skating are just a few ideas.