Starting a Conversation with your Teen

If you’re looking for a way to help kids and teens steer clear of drinking, one of the best things you can do is talk to them, early! Resist the urge to lecture.


  • Set clear rules about drinking.
  • Set a good example. If you drink, drink responsibly.
  • Teach them healthy ways of dealing with stress.
  • Encourage them to join in extracurricular activities.


  • Don’t lecture.
  • Don’t assume that one talk is enough.
  • Don’t wait until you catch kids drinking to think of a punishment.
  • Don’t ignore your instincts. If you suspect that a kid is drinking, talk to them.
  • Don’t let them drink in your home. Social hosting is illegal. “Parents who host, lose the most!”

Refusal Tips for kids: Its not always easy for a teen to keep their cool in the face of peer pressure. Give them a few suggestions on how to say “NO” like:


  • “Sorry, I have to drive tonight.”
  • “No way. My Mom/Dad will kill me if I come home smelling like alcohol.”