Talking with Kids Deters Underage Drinking

Article excerpt

One of the most effective things parents can do to help their children avoid alcohol problems is to talk with them, not only about alcohol risks, but about the social pressures kids face, particularly the proliferation of advertising and other marketing practices. According to Richard Yoast, director of the American Medical Association Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, which manages Reducing Underage Drinking Through Coalitions: Youth and Adults United for Change, a national initiative supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it is also important that adults model responsible behavior.

"Adults have a lot more credibility with young people when they acknowledge the many ways in which our social environment supports underage drinking," he indicates. "For instance, it is helpful to talk about how alcohol use is portrayed in advertising as part of economic, social, and sexual success. Once you recognize that children face a barrage of alcohol advertising every day, then you can begin discussions of alcohol use from a different perspective." Yoast suggests the following basic steps to deter underage drinking:

* Talk to your offspring about your expectations and limits with regard to alcohol use. …

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