As parents- it’s important to understand the benefits of talking with your kids early and often about alcohol. We wanted to touch on a few experts in the parenting field to talk about what it means to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking.
How do you know what sort of pressures your kid faces when he or she leaves your home? The playground, after school care, weekend nights; when your kid is out of your sight, he or she is left to his or her own decisions about peer pressure. Dr. Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, has outlined an offensive approach to helping your kids be confident in their decision to say NO to underage drinking and confirms your role as potentially positive influences to be smart decision makers.
Borba outlines some clear ways to prepare for ongoing talks about alcohol. She recommends not taking a “not my kid” attitude, but rather acknowledge that underage drinking is something your kid could be faced with and that you should arm them with the confidence to say no. Look for your kids hanging out with older crowds, trying to mask his or her breath, and use of drinking game names on a casual basis. Most importantly, these issues are most easily avoided by having conversations early and often, looking for teachable moments and not being afraid to have an awkward conversation.
“Research shows that today’s kids are drinking at younger ages,” explains Borba at the end of her chapter titled Drinking. “The reason most frequently cited by kids for not drinking is their desire to not harm the relationship they have with their parents. A parent’s caring, involved relationship with their child is the best way to prevent underage drinking. Stay involved! You do make a difference!”
To learn more, or get other great parenting tips from Dr. Borba, check out here book here! Dr. Borba was also a voice in our Twitter Chat with Scholastic this past April during Alcohol Awareness Month. Miss it? Get all the details on our blog! Stay tuned next week for another spotlight on an influential parenting professional with essential tips to get through the tween years!