Keep it low-key. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get everything across in one talk. Many small talks are better.
For more information, visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
More than 80 percent of young people ages 10–18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink. So, they really are listening, and it’s important that you send a clear and strong message.
Young people are more likely to listen when they know you’re on their side. Try to reinforce why you don’t want your child to drink—not just because you say so, but because you want your child to be happy and safe. The conversation will go a lot better if you’re working with, and not against, your child.
You want your child to be making informed decisions about drinking, with reliable information about its dangers. You don’t want your child to be learning about alcohol from friends, the Internet or the media—you want to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.
You want to show you’re keeping an eye on your child, because young people are more likely to drink if they think no one will notice. There are many subtle ways to do this without prying.
Even if your child doesn’t want to drink, peer pressure is a powerful thing. It could be tempting to drink just to avoid looking uncool. To prepare your child to resist peer pressure, you’ll need to build skills and practice them.