Talking to Teens About Drinking Matters More Than You May Think


Talking to teens about drinking isn't a waste of time. In fact, it could be more powerful than you think! According to new research, consistent conversations about alcohol with adolescents can have a positive effect on teen drinking. This research comes from the University at Buffalo.

The study showed that parents tended to talk to younger children more about the dangers of alcohol, but then discontinued the discussions as the kids aged. However, researchers found that parents shouldn't underestimate the positive impact of those kinds of conversations, Science Daily reports. Essentially a parent's attitude about drinking affects the kid's attitude.

Craig Colder, who led the study, says:

What our data are suggesting is that you can't control all of your kids' decisions, but you can help them to make good choices in situations where alcohol is available. You want kids to think about and reflect upon the pros and cons of drinking based on your previous discussions.

The less parents talk to their kids—combined with less strict consequences when they did drink—makes it more likely that the adolescents will drink more.

Essentially having conversations about making smart decisions can go a long way. Not only do parents impact their teens' drinking habits, but their peers also play a large role.

For more about teen drinking, check out the alcohol poisoning article from Choices, and keep an eye out for the binge-drinking story in our April issue!