Several days ago, I posted about parents hosting parties for the underage children. And while we by no means endorse breaking the law–people under 21 cannot legally consume alcohol–we realize that parents of teenagers are in an uncomfortable position. It can be treacherous to speak candidly about alcohol without scaring a teenager away or making them think drinking is allowed.
Linda Flannigan, a parent from Summit, New Jersey and writer for the Huffington Post, noted the perils of turning a blind eye to drinking in a blog post published today. She beseeches parents to come to terms with their children’s behaviors, despite how uncomfortable the conversation might be, and she notes the value of solid communication.
Promising new research out of Penn State indicates that parents who adopt simple conversational tools with their kids can transform the way these children approach drinking. The lengthy study carried out by Dr. Turrisi includes easy tips: talk about alcohol, listen and don’t lecture and discuss rules and consequences of drinking, to name a few. When parents follow these guidelines, Turrisi found, underage drinking declines by up to 30 percent.
Flannigan proves that a positive relationship with adolsecents about alcohol yields promising results. The research she mentions suggests that aparent can be a young person’s best role model with regards to alcohol. However, it is difficult to read her post without noting that the law continues to prohibit parents from actually teaching children to behave responsibly.