BY JULIE ANDERSON
To prevent the misuse of substances and underage drinking, it is best to start discussing these topics with your children earlier than you think. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, talking to children about underage drinking can begin as early as 9. Children start to develop their opinions about alcohol between the ages of 9-13. Start ongoing conversations about your disapproval of underage drinking. Parents, caregivers, and trusted adults greatly influence youth and have a powerful and positive impact on children. Research has shown that children that disapprove of underage drinking are less likely to drink underage. Communicating with your children can help protect them against misuse of substances and underage drinking. It is never too late to start these ongoing conversations.
Research has proven that when parents/caregivers take time to have frequent and meaningful conversations with their children, it builds trust and strengthens their relationships. Children with solid relationships with their parents and caregivers are more likely to listen and follow the rules set in place to protect and keep them healthy and safe.
This summer, ask your children the 5 W’s to ensure that they stay safe and healthy:
- “Who” will be there?
- “What” will you be doing?
- “Where” are you going?
- “When” will you be back?
- “Will” there be alcohol?
To learn more ways to prevent underage drinking and protect your children, visit parentsempowered.org.
VISIT US ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION: