Prevention of Underage Drinking

What can I do to keep my teen from drinking?

Keep teens from drinking

#1 Be the role model.

#2 Show your teen it doesn't take a drink to relax and have fun.

#3 Give a clear message about your disapproval of underage alcohol use.

Be the Role Model

Let your children know where you stand by being a positive role model. Some helpful suggestions on role modeling for your teen:

  • Give your teen a clear message about your disapproval of underage alcohol use.
  • Don't make alcohol available to teens in your home.
  • Be a role model. Show your child it doesn't take a drink to relax or to have fun.
  • Don't accept underage drinking as a rite of passage; discuss the consequences.

Being the adult role model by mixing together relaxing and fun activities without alcohol proves that "No Alcohol Required" is the preferred lifestyle of a teen.

  • Give a clear message about your disapproval of underage alcohol use.
  • Offering loving guidance and boundaries is the acceptable role of a parent.
  • Establish a curfew and enforce it. Wait up for your children and give them a hug and a kiss.
  • Set clear rules and consequences. Be sure your children are aware of them.
  • Set consequences or limits related to the activity, and enforce them.
  • Negative consequences might be loss of TV time, computer privileges, time with friends, evening activities, shopping privileges, telephone time, cell phone possession, or driving privileges.
  • Give positive consequences for following rules: say thank you, give praise, and expand your child’s privileges.

Be the Parent on the Scene!

It's OKAY to PARENT a teen – it is your right and responsibility. Instead of waiting for serious issues to arrive, use random lighthearted moments to talk to your kids about underage drinking. You don't have to be mean to Be the Parent on the Scene!  

  • Closely monitor your teen's academic performance.
  • Get to know your children's friends. Monitor changes in friends and in behavior.
  • When your children go out, know who, what, where and when.
  • Call other parents when your children make plans to confirm that adults will be present. You can also call to verify after-the-fact (remember: "trust, then verify").
  • Buy a home alcohol testing kit and let your children know.
  • When your teens want to go to a concert or other event where you know drugs and/or alcohol will be present, agree that they will provide a urine sample the next morning (call TurnAround at 410.819.5600 to arrange for drug tests).
  • Monitor your teen’s television and Internet viewing, and restrict the music CDs they purchase.

Children also need love and connections as a solid foundation:

  • Eat dinner together as often as possible.
  • Involve your children in family decision-making (about activities, rules, vacations, etc.) and in family responsibilities.
  • Remember to give positive consequences: say thank you, give praise and expand your child’s privileges.

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Resources

In addition to the information found on the Be the Parent on the Scene web site, we offer a comprehensive list of resources related to underage and binge drinking and alcohol abuse.