10 Tips on Talking to Your Teen About Underage Drinking 10 Tips on Talking to Your Teen About Underage Drinking

10 Tips on Talking to Your Teen About Underage Drinking

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Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About DrinkingHaving a teen is scary, especially when they turn 16! It isn’t enough nowadays to have just one talk with them about drinking and driving. It needs to be a continual process and at an earlier age too. Research from the GfK Roper Youth Report shows that parents have been the greatest influence on teens’ decisions about drinking alcohol ages for 20 years.

My son, who currently has his temps, attended the Spring Dance for his school recently. Now, while I would like to believe that the school had the venue buckled down, I am sure there were those few bad seeds that smuggled some form of alcohol in or even chugged back a few before attending the event. Not my son though, right! No really, not my son! 

Be a Coach

For more than 20 years, Anheuser-Busch has shared the Family Talk About Drinking Program with parents to help provide them with tips on having an open dialog about alcohol with their children of all ages.

According to FamilyTalkAboutDrinking.com, there are three main stages of parenting including Being a Teacher (for children ages 1-7), The Facilitator (for children ages 8-13) and The Coach (ages 14-21 and older). 

I have kids that fall into all three of those categories. How we approach and talk to them about drinking is different for each. For my 15-year-old, we have been having a discussion for years. As you know teen boys are not very talkative, so our conversations are short but often. Have you had the discussion with your kids lately?

10 Tips on Talking to Your Teen About Underage Drinking:


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10 Tips on Talking to Your Teen About Underage Drinking:

  1. Find the right time to talk face to face, without phones or distractions 
  2. Ask open-ended questions –like how do you feel about…, what do you think of…
  3. Listen to what they have to say without judging 
  4. Respect what they have to say, after all, they are starting to become their “own person” 
  5. Share Stories: Kids usually think, “My parents were never teens, they don’t get it”. Share a story or two so they CAN relate
  6. Stay Calm even if they confided in you about themselves or friends
  7. Don’t lecture: nobody likes to be lectured to, they will just shut down 
  8. Encourage accountability by making them call or check in at certain points of the night. If they want the responsibility of participating in the event, then they need to have accountability 
  9. Draw a Line by making sure they know what the consequences are for breaking rules and that they will be enforced
  10. Have “The Walkaway Talk”!  Make sure to talk about ideas on how to handle peer pressure or how to just walk away from the situation 

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20 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Laura J
    May 22, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I think the most important is to keep communications open and talk with your child. Peer pressure can be so hard.

  2. Avatar
    steve weber
    May 22, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I don’t have any kids. If I did have kids I would allow them to ask me any/all questions that had about alcohol. At that time I would explain the dangers of under age drinking and the many consequences it carries.

  3. Avatar
    May 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    It is very important to show how much you love them and that you are concerned for their well being if they choose to drink. You should never threaten them.

  4. Avatar
    Wilma P
    May 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    My granddaughter just turned 14 and we haven’t had the talk yet. But it’s coming soon. We never drink at our house but we understand about peer pressure.

  5. Avatar
    May 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I think the best tip is to build an open relationship with your children. They need parents they can trust and come to, not ones who are simply authoritarian. I was given free reign as a kid and didn’t drink until it was legal, it’s because I had such a trusting relationship with my parents that I didn’t rebel. My friends whose parents locked them down at home and set strict punishments and curfews were the ones who drank the most, they rebelled because they knew their parents didn’t trust them anyways. I didn’t want to hurt or ruin that trust I had with my parents and the fear of destroying that was a bigger deterrent than any form of punishment threats would have been. I hope when my kids reach the age where they have to choose whether to drink or not that I will have instilled in them the same trust and morals that my parents instilled in me.

  6. Avatar
    Jan Lee
    May 23, 2015 at 12:02 am

    I have one niece who is over 21 and one niece who is just 14. My great niece and great nephew are toddlers so no need to talk to them yet. I don’t know if my sister has talked to my 14 year old niece about underage drinking yet, or not. I’m going to send my sister the link to this post as I think the list is a gives perfect ideas 🙂

  7. Avatar
    Holly Thomas
    May 23, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Teach by example.

  8. Avatar
    Cathy French
    May 23, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I think you should start talking to them when they are 12 or 13. Always remember kids imitate their parents so if you drink you should have a lengthy discussion with them and you yourself don’t get out of hand. What they see you do they think is ok

  9. Avatar
    Pamela Gurganus
    May 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I don’t have any children, but I have talked to my nieces and nephew about it. They are all in their teens and their parents started talking to them about it at an early age. I know my parents talked to me about it at an early age too. When it came time for me to start going out with my friends, it made talking about it even easier because it wasn’t a new topic of conversation between us. It was very comfortable.

  10. Avatar
    Diana C
    May 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I dont’ have kids, but I work at a college. I believe you should educate children about alcohol as soon as they can comprehend. They group up around adults who drink, some who are not good with it. They grow up with an educated opinion about alcohol and then make choices on their own.

    Diana C

  11. Avatar
    Tammy Woodall
    May 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I think its important to talk to your children as early as possible about drinking about the effects it can have on themselves and others. I know of some kids that have started drinking as early as 12 years old.

  12. Avatar
    May 24, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    My kids are still toddlers, so we’re a long way off from this conversation. We hope that by the time they’re older, we’ll know what to say.

  13. Avatar
    Susan Smith
    May 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    We had that talk when they first started driving. They know they aren’t suppose to be drinking before age 21. My son is 21 and we told him that is he has been drinking to call one of us and we will pick him up.

  14. Avatar
    Jenna D
    May 25, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    I think thirteen is a good age to speak to your child about underage drinking.

  15. Avatar
    Christina Abrahamson
    May 26, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I lost my best friend in 1998 while on a senior trip to padre island while walking in which she was killed by a drunk driver so my son knows how I feel. Scare them straight.

  16. Avatar
    Amanda Sakovitz
    May 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I think 13 is a good age to have the talk. Kids seems to be drinking earlier and earlier these days.

  17. Avatar
    May 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I have not had this important talk with my teen yet since he just had his 14th b-day. I will start talking about it this end of school year because he has older friends and cousins and we attend celebrations for adults where there is drinking by the adults.

  18. Avatar
    Sarah L
    May 26, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    No kids, but I think it’s something that should be talked about from a young age.
    Thanks for the contest.

  19. Avatar
    Lily Kwan
    May 26, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    My tips are to be patient and to keep the lines of communication open. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  20. Avatar
    james jenkins
    May 26, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    You might already be talking to your kids, without knowing it, by how you handle drinking. If you handle it well, presenting a good example, you might actually be encouraging them to drink because “Hey, THEY get away with it with no problem”.

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