Here are some strong ways to start a dialogue around alcohol: I heard on the news that one out of four 8th graders have tried alcohol. I was wondering… If you were to guess, how many kids your age do you think have had a drink with alcohol in it? How do you think it has helped them? Hurt them? What are the reasons those kids might have had for drinking? What are some of the things they could have done instead? Why do you think they did that? Why do you think they did not drink? Negative reactions from a parent can shut down communication and make it difficult to help a child solve problems and deal with difficult situations. Negative parental reactions include: Letting off steam in an angry outburst Giving the silent treatment and then saying “things are fine” Bringing up the child’s past failures Recruiting other people to support your side of the argument Comparing kids and asking, “Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?”
You can also personalize the questions: If you were in their situation, how might you act? How do you think it would affect you? What are some of the things you could have done instead? Why is that?
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