Underage drinking is a bigger issue with our children than most parents realize. No one wants to think about their kids using drugs or alcohol and having conversations around substance abuse with children is uncomfortable and difficult. It’s scary to think about these things so how can we go about discussing them with the kids we love in a productive and effective manner? You just have to talk. They hear you.
May 13th SAMHSA kicked off the Talk. They Hear You public service announcement campaign that aims to empower parents to speak with their children about drinking from a young age. Research show that parents should start having these conversations with their kids as early as age 9. It can really make a difference, having these discussions will help to continue the reduction of underage drinking.
SAMHSA’s latest report on underage drinking shows that more than a quarter of American youth engage in underage drinking. Although there has been progress in reducing the extent of underage drinking in recent years, particularly among those aged 17 and younger, the rates of underage drinking are still unacceptably high.
Sit down with your kids. Talk. They hear you. They do listen and want to meet your expectations, but if they don’t know what you expect from them, they won’t know what to do. Set clear expectations with simple to understand reasons. Discuss the facts around drinking and the consequences of alcohol use.
“These young people are our future leaders—our future teachers, mayors, doctors, parents, and entertainers,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “As our youth and young adults face challenges, we as a community, need to effectively communicate with them in every way possible about the risks of underage drinking so that they have the necessary tools to make healthy and informed choices.”
For more information about the Talk. They Hear You PSA campaign, click HERE. If you have a child who is drinking and you need help, contact the addiction professional here at Steps to Recovery. We are here to help you and your loved one receive the support you need.