I hope that you and your family had a wonderful, fun, and safe weekend! Today we’re sharing 10 ways for parents to keep their children from drinking! Feel free to add your ideas in the comments section below!
1. Sign a Pact
Many schools have students sign a pact that forbids drinking and drug use. Encourage your teen to sign or get together with other parents and teens to create your own agreement.
2. Create a Reward System
You may give your teen consequences when they make the wrong decision, but you also have to reward them when they make the right ones. Pressure to drink and use other drugs is high, so commend them for staying sober with a reward you both agree on.
3. Host a Drug-Free Party
Your teen doesn’t know which party to attend, but you still want them to be chaperoned and safe. Make your presence known. Offer to host a party with all of their friends. You’ll be able to keep an eye on your teen throughout the party and make sure they don’t leave early to attend a random party. Involve other parents to supplement the cost and make it a drug-free party to remember.
4. Get Their Friends Involved
There is strength in numbers, so get your teen’s friends involved by having them sign a nodrinking pact. If their friends aren’t drinking, there’s less of a chance your teen will.
5. Explain the Consequences
Tell your teen that you have a zero-tolerance policy on drinking. Sit down and calmly explain the consequences for breaking the law and your agreement. Outline strict consequences and stick to them.
6. Educate Them on the Effects of Drinking
Most schools discuss making good decisions in advisor-advisee sessions. Take it a step further and talk to your teen one-on-one, or consider showing your support by pledging to not host or support underage drinking/other drug use.
7. No Questions Asked Policy
Try to stick by a “no questions asked” policy. No matter where or when, you want your teen to feel comfortable enough to call you in case of an emergency. Whether they’re just tired or being pressured to drink or use other drugs, the important thing is that they feel comfortable enough to ask you for help.
8. Lead by Example
Teens take cues from their parents, so it’s imperative to instill the importance of adults demonstrating responsible decision-making early on. Keep minimal (if any) amounts of alcohol in the house and always keep it locked up. Also, when you travel, do not leave your home and teens unintended with no close adult supervision.
9. Get to Know Their Friends
Friends are very important to teens, so it’s crucial to get to know their peers. Have them over to your house for movie night, or dinner – you can even extend the invite to the parents. The more parents you have looking out for your teen, the better. If your son or daughter is hanging out with someone you don’t approve of, talk about it with them and explain your concerns in a civil way. You may not be able to prevent them from hanging out together when they get older, but you’ll feel better once you set boundaries for your own teen.
10. Set Some Ground Rules
You may not want to think of yourself as being overprotective, but when it comes to school activities and parties, the more questions you ask, the less surprises you’ll have to face. Before these events, make sure you talk to your son/daughter about alcohol and other drug use, sexual activity, and the consequences. It also doesn’t hurt to team up with other parents to keep an eye on each other’s teens, especially if they’re attending a party at a friend’s house.