Surveys conducted here in the North Country have proven that the number of teens who don’t use drugs or alcohol is higher than those who do, despite the perception that “everyone does it.” That is an important fact for parents to emphasize when they talk with their kids.
And notice we say “talk with” not “talk to.” While the idea of just laying down the law has some appeal, the counsel will have more impact if parents get their children to sit down and have conversations.
Get informed and plunge in. If you aren’t sure what to say, help is available. Going to the website www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov will bring you to the Parental Resources section. That can get you started, and local guidance counselors and health departments can also offer advice.
It may be a little uncomfortable to start the conversation, but remember that parents have a tremendous influence on young minds.
More is sinking in than you know — or the kids will admit.