Tips to Prevent Teens from Experimenting with Alcohol

Adapted from  

The vast majority of teens have at least tried alcohol by the time they graduate from high school, according to the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey. Parents play a big role in a teen’s decision about whether or not to drink alcohol. These seven strategies can help reduce the likelihood that your teen will engage in underage drinking:

1. Maintain a Strong Relationship with Your Teen

If you have a healthy relationship with your teen, your teen will value your opinion.

2. Make Your Stance on Underage Drinking Known

Teens who know their parents disapprove of underage drinking are less likely to drink.

3. Keep Track of Your Teen’s Activities

If you know where your teen is and who your teen is with, there will be fewer opportunities to drink alcohol.

4. Teach Your Teen Social Skills

A teen who has more confidence in his social skills will feel more competent in declining invitations to drink.

5. Establish Clear Rules and Consequences

Set rules ahead of time and discuss the consequences. Is your teen allowed to attend a party if there won’t be adult supervision? What are the consequences if you catch your teen drinking?

6. Educate Yourself About Underage Drinking

Don’t try to talk to your teen about the dangers and prevalence of underage drinking until you have your facts straight. Conduct research about the dangers and potential consequences of teens consuming alcohol.

7. Be a Good Role Model

Finally, be a good role model when it comes to alcohol. If you binge drink, or drink and drive, your teen will think it’s acceptable behavior. If you are choose to drink while your teen is present, role model how to drink responsibly and discuss why it is okay for you to drink and why it’s not okay for your teen.

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