Today, The Century Council research was featured on the cover of USA Today’s Life section regarding how often parents talk to their kids about alcohol.
According to the research on what youth say about alcohol, parental influence with regard to underage drinking has increased significantly over the past 10 years. Today, 83% of youth ages 10-18 years old cite parents as the leading influence in their decision to not drink at all, or not to drink on occasion, which is up 28% proportionally from 2003. Parents rank significantly higher than friends/peers and teachers which tied for second as the leading influence on their decisions about drinking at 33%. Rounding out the top six influencers are; punishment (28%), brothers and sisters (24%) and law enforcement (23%).
Clearly, parents are the leading influence and most parents understand this impact. Of parents surveyed, 46% report they have talked 4 or more times to their kids about alcohol.
This year, Three-time Olympic medalist and U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team Captain Aly Raisman and her parents, Lynn and Rick Raisman, joined The Century Council and its Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program to encourage parents and kids to have active discussions about the dangers of underage drinking. In addition to promoting an ongoing dialog between parents and kids, the program aims to embolden youth to “say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking.”
As the most widely distributed alcohol education program of its kind. Ask, Listen, Learn’s initiatives include a website offering kids interactive and educational games and videos, an area to read about positive role models, and the opportunity to take a pledge to make healthy choices. Parents and educators are also encouraged to visit the site to find tips on how to facilitate the conversation about underage drinking with their kids.