Steps To Take At Home

Steps To Take At Home
Encouraging Smart Choices
Having The Conversation
Preparing For College
Setting A Good Example

Help your son or daughter steer clear of the dangers of underage drinking with these five steps:

Step 1: Think of yourself as a coach 6
Your role in preventing underage drinking is similar to coaching. You can help your teen by

  • Sharing information
  • Discussing choices and monitoring behavior
  • Helping your teen anticipate and handle challenging situations
  • Cheering your teen on to make smart, safe choices

Step 2: Get busy communicating 6,8
Begin a series of conversations with your son or daughter—proactively, before he or she gets caught drinking—about how:

  • Alcohol is a drug with serious sedative effects
  • Drinking has health dangers and other risks for young people
  • It is illegal to drink before the age of 21
  • You want your teen to be safe and respect the law
  • Your teen can plan ways to resist peer pressure to drink

Step 3: Keep track of your teen 2,3
You need to know what your teen does after school, at night, and on weekends—and with whom.

  • Agree on rules, limits, and consequences
  • Monitor all in-person and online activities
  • Know your teen’s schedule
  • Make sure he or she has your permission for activities
  • Talk to parents of kids with whom your teen spends time
  • Enforce consequences consistently

Step 4: Show respect and caring 2,3
Your teen will respond better when you

  • Listen respectfully to his or her ideas and concerns
  • Explain that rules, limits, and consequences are meant to protect them
  • Help your teen think logically and make smart choices
  • Remind your teen how much you love and care about them

Step 5: Be a positive role model 2,3
Your teen will be most receptive to your guidance if you lead by example and act responsibly.

For teens, alcohol is an illegal and dangerous drug.
That’s why parents need to enforce zero tolerance.

More tips for parents:


1.GfK Roper Youth Report. Based on online survey conducted March 19, 2008-April 27, 2008. Read more

2.Hingson, Ralph W. and Wenxing Zha. “Age of Drinking Onset, Alcohol Use Disorders, Frequent Heavy Drinking, and Unintentionally Injuring Oneself and Others After Drinking” Pediatrics Vol. 123 No. 6 June 2009, pp. 1477-1484 (Published online May 26, 2009) Read more

3.Hingson, Ralph W. et al. “Age of Alcohol-Dependence Onset: Associations With Severity of Dependence and Seeking Treatment.” Pediatrics 2006; 118;e755-e763.

4.Miller et al. “Binge Drinking and Associated Health Risk Behaviors Among High School Students,” Pediatrics (2007) 119:1. Read more

5.National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Alcohol Alert #67. Read more

6.Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University. (2005) Parents as a Resource: Talking with Adolescents About Alcohol.

7.Resnick M.D. et al. “Protecting adolescents from harm. Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health.” JAMA 1997;278(10):823-832. Read more

8.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking 2007. Read more


Parents Do Matter

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