School is almost over and summer vacations are around the corner! This time of year can be especially challenging for both youth as well as parents. In most cases, this is a period of transition for youth: whether it’s starting middle school, or graduating from high school and heading to college.
Kids and teens now have ample time on their hands for all sorts of activities yet parents’ supervision might be limited due to their everyday obligations. Unfortunately, this reality leaves the door open for kids to experiment and engage in risky behavior while their parents are not around.
At The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, we know that kids still listen to parents when it comes to discussing underage drinking. So it’s highly important that parents are prepared to have the conversation anytime during the year, and are equipped with the necessary knowledge to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking.
If you’re a parent, check out the Ask Listen Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program for free resources that provide you with excellent resources to help you make the most of these important conversations.
Furthermore, here are some quick tips to help you keep your kids safe, and make sure they enjoy their upcoming summer vacation:
1. Keep the conversation going and #TalkEarly: It’s never too early to talk with your kids about underage drinking. You can make use of daily situations to start the conversation. Remember, multiple conversations are more effective than a lecture!
2. Be involved: Kids need to know their parents are around and care. Make sure you know what they are doing. You can plan some healthy and fun activities with your kids and teenagers. Share some quality time with them!
3. Stay Aware: Always know your kids’ whereabouts and who they are with. If you can’t be physically present, try to get a relative or a neighbor to check on the kids every once in a while. Take advantage of technology to keep in touch with them!
4. Set the Rules: Make sure your kids know your expectations and the house rules.
5. Connect: Other Parents are facing the same challenges you are. Get to know these parents and make sure you are all on the same page when it comes to underage drinking. You can also check out the Talk Early parenting bloggers and connect with them online.
6. Keep count: Keep an inventory of the alcohol at your house. Make sure that it’s out of your kids’ reach; this will also help them in dealing with peer pressure.
Remember, this summer and during the rest of the year, encourage your kids to say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking!
For more information and additional resources, please visit www.asklistenlearn.com