Parents, Make it a Date to Have a PowerTalk!

powertalk21A new survey of Texas teens and parents let us know that there is a huge disconnect in what parents believe their teens face in terms of pressure to drink alcohol versus the reality of what their teens experience when it comes to alcohol. The good news is that parents are the No. 1 influence on their teen’s decisions about drinking. What parents do and say matters, and some teens may be getting mixed messages.

April 21 is PowerTalk 21® – the national day for parents to talk with their children about alcohol. I know this may go beyond the topics that you normally cover, but as a parent, this is important to us all, whether it’s your child or someone else’s child. We’re hoping to get the word out through influential moms like you. Register for a free 30 minute online workshop here!

Conversation Starters

CONNECT.
– Eat dinner together.
– Include your tween and teen while you run errands.
– Watch your kids moods. If there are any change, ask why.

EDUCATE.
– Tell them of the dangers of alcohol, especially when ingested by young people.
– Tell them WHY you are concerned about them drinking alcohol. Your tween and teen cannot hear “I love you and want you to be safe…” too much.
– Introduce them to car services like the UBER app.

BE A ROLE MODEL.
– Don’t drink and then drive. I know this is obvious, but your kids are watching your behavior. Try to practice what your preach. Call UBER and let your kids see how safe and responsible this service can be.

ENCOURAGE.
– Acknowledge the ways your kids contribute in the family.
– Notice the little things that they do.
– Have an open door policy in your house, where you kids feel comfortable to ask you ANY question without punishment. Be NOT just available to your kids, BUT also to your kids’ friends.

MONITOR.
– Ask where your kids are going when they leave the house, who they are going to be with and how you can reach their friend’s parents.
– Put a mobile phone rule in place where they have to call you or text you when they leave “said” location.

ENFORCE.
– Be consistent on your family rules. If your kids miss curfew, follow through with the agreed upon discipline. Your kids love structure, even though sometimes their actions demonstrate differently.

Lastly remember that parents have power, and kids look up to you FIRST. I HIGHLY suggest you start having the talk about drugs and alcohol sooner than later. I recommend at least by the time they enter Junior High or age 11. Kids are experimenting, and it is better to have a plan in place and an open line of communication than to have to get a call from the police that the worst has happened.MADDPOYINFOGRAPHIC

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