Talking With Youth

Have the right conversations

The fact of the matter is, parents have a huge influence over their children’s future drinking habits.  Research shows they are the main reason why young people choose not to drink, making it even more important for parents to start talking to their children about alcohol at an early age.



Use these 5 Conversation Goals from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help jump start your discussions:

1. Show you disapprove of underage drinking.

Parents are the number one reason why young people decide to drink or not. Your children are listening, so be clear with your messages.

2. Show you care about your child’s happiness and well-being.

Let your child know you care about their happiness, health, and safety. If they know you’re on their side, they’re more likely to listen.

3. Show you’re a good source of information about alcohol.

Establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information so your children are coming to you – not their friends, the internet, or the media – to learn about alcohol.

4. Show you’re paying attention and you’ll notice if your child drinks.

Young people are more likely to drink if they think you won’t notice. Make sure they know you’re aware of and care about what they’re doing.

5. Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding underage drinking.

The power of peer pressure is very real. Help your child build and practice skills to resist peer pressure for whenever they might encounter it.

For more resources and tips from SAMHSA, click here.