Believe That We Are The Influence.
Research proves that parents are a kid's number one influence about alcohol.* They may not be talking, but kids are always listening. So as parents you still have major influence, just use it in a R.E.A.L. way.
*Source: 2015 GFK Roper Youth Poll, conducted using GFK’s weekly OmniWeb study.
Realize Our Children Need To Have a Connection With Us.
Younger kids require a close relationship with their parents, but as they grow, that relationship can feel disconnected. The need for a deep connection doesn't change with age. Our job as parents is to find new ways to connect so that our kids always feel supported and our influence is never lost.
Examine Our Own Assumptions and Prejudices.
Kids today are dealing with distractions, temptations and pressures that are unique to their generation. When looking to create deeper conversations about underage drinking, ask yourself: “Are my own experiences getting in the way? Am I really prepared to listen to my child's point of view?”
Always Be Aware of the Other Influences In Kids’ Lives.
It's natural for parents to fight against the new influences in a child's life, but the surest way to lose all influence is to fail to relate to their world. Get to know their friends and find out why they matter so much to our kids. By taking their concerns seriously, we encourage them to see that our advice is based on true understanding.
Listen, Because All Kids (Especially Teens!) Have a Deep Need to Be Heard.
As they get older, our children begin to feel that their ideas and opinions deserve consideration. When our kids evaluate our rules and advice, they need to know that we're basing our words on a real understanding of what they're thinking and feeling. If they don't feel heard, they are more likely to turn to peers for validation.