April is Alcohol Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.”

Seven out of 10 parents of 10 to 15 year olds say they are “very comfortable” talking with their kids about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. However, only 38 percent of youth in the same families say they are “very comfortable” talking with their parents about these issues.1

The following are some discussion starters from ParentFurther, our website for families, to help you get these important conversations started.

Discussion Starters with Your Kids

Even though the main goal of this discussion is preventing youth from using alcohol, it’s helpful for parenting adults and youth to share their experiences and perspectives. That will make it more comfortable for young people to talk about it, too.

  • What are some of your early memories of seeing others use alcohol? What do you remember? How did you react at the time?
  • Where have our family’s attitudes about alcohol come from? Are those influences positive or negative, in your view?
  • Think about your best friends. Do they use alcohol? When, where, and how much? In what ways does what your friends do influence what you do?

Discussion Starters with Other Parenting Adults

These parenting adults may include your spouse or partner, extended family members, friends who are parents, or a parent group or class.

  • What are your biggest concerns regarding alcohol use?
  • What’s hardest in addressing youth alcohol or tobacco use in our community? What has worked?
  • What are great resources in our community to help with keeping kids substance free? What groups or places in the community are problematic or make it harder?

What Adults Need to Know about Kids and Substance AbuseIn support of Alcohol Awareness Month, receive a free copy* of What Adults Need to Know about Kids and Substance Use with any purchase of $100 or more in the Search Institute Store (a $29.95 value). This useful book provides a practical overview of the substances that kids are most likely to abuse and what actions adults can take to intervene. 

Visit the Search Institute Store now >>

*Book automatically added to all orders over $100. Available while supplies last.

Source: 1. Syvertsen, A. K., Roehlkepartain, E. C., & Scales, P. C. (2012). The American family assets study. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.