Spend time together
Having fun together will help strengthen your relationship with your kids and offer opportunities for them to share their thoughts and feelings. This provides a solid foundation for when you need to talk to them about things that could potentially affect their health and safety—like underage drinking.
Share 15 minutes each day
Try to spend at least 15 minutes a day of one-on-one time with your kids. Learn about their interests and do things they like to do. Ask about their hopes and dreams, as well as their fears and concerns.
Do a closeness check-up
With all the competing priorities for parents’ attention, it can be helpful to take a moment and assess the strength of your relationship with your kids. Ask yourself these four questions to help identify opportunities to strengthen your bond. It’s also important to note that kids’ answers to these same questions can be a predictor of future substance use.1
Eat meals together
Eating a meal together is the perfect time to talk and catch up on activities. Research shows kids who regularly eat with their family (at least five times per week) are 33 percent less likely to use alcohol.2 Here is a tasty, and easy, recipe to get started.
Stay involved with their education. Kids who make an effort to get good grades and are involved in school activities are far less likely to drink. Ask your child questions about what they’re learning. Offer to help with their homework.
Strengthen your family relationships
Some suggestions to consider include being kind and respectful of each other, as well as acknowledging and complimenting your kids for all the positive things they do. Remind your kids often that you love and care about them.Download 40 Phrases that Praise
Protecting your child’s healthy brain
An adolescent brain is still developing and is the single greatest resource for a child’s bright future.Learn More
1 Resnick MD, Bearman PS, Blum RW, et al; Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. Protecting adolescents from harm. JAMA. 1997;278(10):823–832pmid:9293990.
2 The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2011.
3 Nash SG, McQueen A, Bray JH. Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: family environment, peer influence, and parental expectations. J Adolesc Health. 2005;37(1):19–28pmid:15963903.