KNOWING THE FACTS AS YOU COMMUNICATE YOUR FAMILY’S VALUES Families take different approaches to alcohol use. Some parents permit their teen to drink a controlled amount of alcohol under supervision on holidays or at family functions. Other parents don’t permit any alcohol at all before a child reaches the age of 21. We have met parents who teach basic family values, like honesty and responsibility, but never discuss alcohol directly with their kids. They assume that their son or daughter will know how to apply family values to alcohol and other drugs. That’s a risky assumption. Teens’ brains are not fully developed and don’t make the same connections that are more obvious to adults.
You will empower your teen to meet the challenges of growing up if you explicitly discuss your expectations about alcohol, impaired driving, and riding with others who have been drinking. Keep communication lines open, and work together to set clear rules and consequences. We have met parents who teach basic family values, like honesty and responsibility, but never discuss alcohol directly with their kids.
The science is clear about young people and alcohol and other drugs: Early alcohol and other drug use puts the developing brain at risk and substantially increases the risk of problems, victimization, and addiction. Kids whose parents allow them to drink at home drink more often and heavily outside the home. There are no studies showing benefits of letting children or teens try alcohol. Actually, it is the opposite: for health and safety of a child and teen, the only real safe level of alcohol use under the age of 21 is no alcohol use. MADD urges you to make the following agreements with your teen:
No drinking alcohol before age 21 No socializing in places where teens are drinking No riding in a car with a driver who has had any amount of alcohol No other drugs
Made with FlippingBook Digital Proposal Creator