Power of Parents (Pocket Guide)

Did you drink when you were young? Your son or daughter will probably ask if you ever drank when you were young. This may create a dilemma for parents. If you drank and say “no,” you are being dishonest. If you say “yes,” your child will think you are hypocritical to expect different behavior from them. Honesty is important and you should not lie to your child.

Download MADD’s parent handbooks at madd.org/powerofparents to read more on effective approaches that parents can use to answer this question.

TALKING SO KIDS WILL LISTEN The following strategies will help you communicate most effectively: Listen. Allow your child to speak without interruption. Listen to what he or she says. Speak with respect and appreciation. Your child still values your approval. Communicate directly. Pick a time to speak when you can have each other’s undivided attention. Emphasize common goals. Remind your child that you are on their side. Avoid communication “stoppers.” These are single statements that shut down any response. Recognize conflict is natural. We all have different beliefs and values; therefore disagreement is a natural thing. Agree to step away. Agree to temporarily stop talking if things don’t go well. Use appropriate body language. How you position yourself physically while you talk can send important messages about your attitudes or express something you are not trying to convey. Avoid debate. If you find yourself debating, try suggesting that you both approach matters from a different angle.


Talking About Alcohol // Talking So Your Child Will Listen

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