Kids need ways to resist this pressure. You can suggest they use simple “one-liners” that remove the pressure without making a big scene or issue about it. For example, your child could respond simply: “It’s just not for me; it’s not what I want.” “I don’t drink.” “No thanks.” Your child might also consider: Offering an alternative, like “I’d rather have soda.” Making an excuse, like “I have a test to study for tomorrow” or “My family is waiting for me, and I’ve got to go.” Having an explanation, like “I really just don’t like the taste.” Changing the subject. Encourage your child to think of short, yet effective, responses. By deciding on “one-liners” beforehand, he or she will be prepared for an uncomfortable situation that might arise. THE BIG MYTH: "Everybody is Already Doing It" Research shows that not everyone participates in risky behaviors. In fact, almost three out of every four 8th graders have never had a drink.
Middle school students often overestimate how many high school students are drinking or have tried alcohol. TIP
FINDING ALTERNATIVES TO DRINKING Some kids give the reasons below for why they might choose to drink. Help them to think of other ways to achieve similar goals. Positive reason: To Celebrate Some middle school students believe that drinking is a grown up way to celebrate a special occasion. Alternatives: Encourage your child to find other ways to celebrate positively. Options might be: Shopping for something special (e.g., clothes, music, sporting goods). Having an outing, such as dinner, that would include a few special friends. Offering to have friends over for a supervised party (without alcohol).
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