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Parents/Caregivers

Children look to their parents and caregivers as their primary source for advice, support, and role modeling. Use the Discussion Guides to help you talk with your children about underage alcohol use. Parent Power resources provide additional information on steps you can take in your home and community to help young people avoid underage drinking.

Visit the Statistics page for facts about underage drinking and its consequences. The UAD Web Sites page provides links to several sites with additional resources for parents and caregivers on keeping children safe from underage alcohol use.

Discussion Guides

“Talk. They Hear You.”
This media campaign is designed to help prevent underage drinking among children ages 9 to 15 by providing their parents and caregivers with the resources they need to properly address this issue with their children early. The campaign website offers customizable radio, television, and print public service announcements; social media tools; and fact sheets, talking points, and other print materials to share with parents and caregivers in the community. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; May 2013)
Talk to Your Kids about Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs
This web page offers tips in English and Spanish on when, how, and why to talk with children about substance use. Information also is provided on steps to take if you suspect your child has a substance use problem.  (healthfinder.gov; page last updated May 22, 2013)
PDF IconReal Kids Are Curious About Alcohol: A Family Guide to Underage Drinking Prevention
This guide provides facts and practical advice on how parents can talk with their children about underage drinking. Helpful tips guide parents in talking about alcohol, and parents can personalize an action plan to help start the conversation with their children. This guide also has resources for families, peers, and other adult influencers on a child’s decision to drink. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; April 2010)
PDF IconComience a hablar antes de que ellos comiencen a beber: Una guía para la familia
This brochure is the Spanish-language version of Real Kids Are Curious About Alcohol: A Family Guide to Underage Drinking Prevention. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; April 2010)
Audience Insights: Communicating to Teens (Aged 12–17)
Today’s teens are the most marketing-savvy and brand-conscious generation to date. Their health behaviors and outcomes reflect their economic, racial, gender, and geographic disparities. Knowing the habits and preferences of teens can help parents communicate more effectively with their children. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010)
Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child About Alcohol
This guide is geared to parents and guardians of young people aged 10 to 14. Keep in mind that the suggestions offered in the guide are just that—suggestions. Trust your instincts. Choose ideas you are comfortable with, and use your own style in carrying out the approaches you find useful. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; revised 2009)
Alcohol Ads Sway Teens? Podcast
There is a correlation between the amount of exposure to alcohol advertising and underage drinking. Parents should assume that their teens are exposed to alcohol ads, both print and television, and should make it a point to remind them about the dangers of drinking. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; July 2007)
PDF IconUnderage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
This brochure dispels common myths about underage alcohol use and helps 9- to 15-year-olds understand the dangers associated with using alcohol. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; updated 2010)
<em>Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts</em>

Parent Power

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide
This guide is designed to help health care professionals quickly identify youth at risk for alcohol-related problems. Based on just two questions, one that asks about friends’ drinking and another that asks about personal drinking frequency, health care professionals can now detect risk early, in contrast to other screens that focus on established alcohol problems. This early detection tool aims to help prevent alcohol-related problems in children and youth before they start or address them at early stage. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2011)
PDF IconParenting to Prevent Childhood Alcohol Use
Parents can play an important role in helping their children develop healthy attitudes toward drinking while minimizing their risk of underage drinking. This factsheet describes how parenting styles and other actions by parents can influence their children’s decisions about whether and how to drink—decisions that can have lifelong consequences. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; October 2010)
PDF IconMonitoring Your Teen’s Activities: What Parents and Families Should Know
Parents are a powerful influence in the lives of their teens. When parents know what their teens are doing and where they are and set clear expectations for behavior with regular check-ins to be sure these expectations are being met—parents can reduce teens’ risks for injuries and drug and alcohol use. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010)
PDF IconParents—Help Your Teens Party Right at Graduation
This factsheet describes how simple, important precautionary measures, such as prom-planning involvement and open communication with teens, can make a difference for this memorable occasion. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; May 2009)
PDF IconThe Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: What It Means to You―A Guide to Action for Families
This guide gives you the knowledge and tools you need to take action against underage drinking. It tells you about underage alcohol use and the damage it can do. And it suggests ways you can end underage drinking in your home, family, community, and across the country.(Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007)
PDF IconLlamado a la acción del Cirujano General para prevenir y reducir el consumo de alcohol por menores de edad: Lo que significa para usted—Guía de acción para las familias
This Spanish-language guide, based on the Surgeon General’s Call to Action, gives families the knowledge and tools to take action against underage drinking. It explains why underage alcohol use is a problem and suggests ways that families can end underage alcohol use in the home, in the community, and across the country. (Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007)

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