Dear Parents and Guardians,
Graduation is upon us and it’s time to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and achievements! As you prepare to launch your child into adulthood, keep in mind that most kids value their parent’s advice when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
Parent Up is here with some reminders and action steps about how you can protect their celebration and their future:
- Communicate with your teen that alcohol is bad for their brain and they should not drink before age 21. Drinking by those below the age of 21 is strongly linked with increased risk for alcohol dependence later in life because the brain is still developing until the mid-twenties. Minors who drink are also more likely to use other drugs, have poorer academic performance, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and be injured or assaulted. Tell your child you don’t want them to risk their future, reputation, or safety, and you expect them to remain alcohol-free.
- Create a game plan with your child so if they are offered alcohol, they know what to do. For example, help brainstorm excuses for saying no or develop a code word that your child can text you to let you know they are in a situation where they feel unsafe.
- Stick with the majority of Northland parents that don’t provide alcohol or allow their child to drink, even on special occasions like graduation! Research shows that when parents allow, provide, or supervise teen drinking, it sends a false message that alcohol is safe for their underdeveloped brain.
By working together with your teen, expressing your concern for their health and safety, and setting clear and consistent expectations, you can ensure that this celebration is a positive memory they’ll have forever. Congratulations to all the graduates of the class of 2023!
Parent Up KC
The Parent Up campaign empowers and equips KC Northland parents to care, connect, communicate, and pay careful attention to their child in order to prevent teen substance use. Follow us on Facebook @ParentUp.