Discussion Checklist Remember to cover these points when you talk about alcohol with your middle school student: 1. Emphasize that drinking is illegal for everyone younger than age 21 and for very good reasons. 2. Let your child know that most of their peers are NOT drinking.

Tell Your Middle School Child ࡟ “I care about you and want you to stay safe. That’s why I need to know where you are.” ࡟ “You matter so much to me; that’s why we need to talk about how risky alcohol is for young people.” ࡟ “I love you and want you to have the brightest future possible. That’s why there’s no drinking until you turn 21.”

3. Talk about how drinking affects the brain, and how it is especially damaging to young brains. Kids need to know how drinking will affect them and that a person who is drinking is not a good judge of how impaired they are. 4. Explain your own position concerning your child’s drinking. Discuss your family’s rules about alcohol and agree on the consequences for breaking the rules. 5. Talk about what sometimes motivates kids to drink, and discuss alternatives for achieving those goals. 6. Discuss reasons for NOT drinking and the many bad consequences that can result from drinking. 7. Help your child brainstorm ways to resist negative peer pressure. Reinforce that you want to help your son or daughter find constructive alternatives to drinking.

Have the conversation about alcohol today.


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