Virginia ABC is proud to bring you Power of Parents in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving
. Parents are influential in their teen’s decisions of whether or not to begin drinking, when to begin drinking and how much to drink. Research has shown that teens are looking towards their parents for approval and final decision making. A 2005 study reported that about 80% of teens feel that parents should have a say in whether they drink alcohol.
So, what can parents do?
- Set family policies about adolescent drinking in the home and be consistent in setting expectations and enforcing rules.
- If you choose to drink, always model responsible alcohol consumption.
- Talk early and often, in developmentally appropriate ways, with teens about your concerns and theirs regarding alcohol.
- Work with other parents to monitor where kids are gathering and what they are doing, being involved in the lives of adolescents is key to keeping them safe.
- Work in and with the community to promote dialogue about underage drinking and the creation and implementation of action steps to address it.
- Be aware of your State’s laws about providing alcohol to your own teens.
- Never provide alcohol to someone else’s child.
The Power of Parents handbooks and training will improve how you and your teen relate to each other and can help you guide your middle and high schooler in positive decision making. The Power of Parents handbooks and trainings are adapted from Dr. Robert Turrisi’s (Pennsylvania State University) research with the goal of empowering parents to have effective conversations with their middle and high schoolers about drinking. Dr. Turrisi’s handbook has been shown to reduce underage drinking among college freshman by up to 30 percent when their parents read and used the handbook while their teen was in middle school or high school.