While you might think your kids are more influenced by their peers, research shows the #1 reason kids choose not to drink alcohol is because of parental disapproval.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a month developed in order to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and treatments of one of our nation's top health problems: alcoholism.
We talked with Rob Timmerman, Parents Empowered representative and chair of the Utah Prevention Advisory Committee who says studies show that people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol-dependent at some time during their life, compared with those who have their first drink at 21 or older.
He says it's important to keep alcohol away from kids under 21 because brains are still developing.
After communicating your strong disapproval of underage drinking, then parents need to stay involved in their kids' daily lives, because all kids need help to stay alcohol-free.
Parents Empowered recommends using the 5 Ws. Anytime your child is about to leave the house, check in with these questions:
- Where are you going?
- Who will you be with?
- What will you be doing?
- When will you be home?
- Will there be alcohol?
Parentsempowered.org has lots of tips and resources parents can use to start these conversations and prevent underage drinking.