November 2014

During the holidays, enjoy time to slow down from the normal hustle of school and work and reconnect with your teen.

While adolescents are establishing their independence they also desire close family relationships. Those relationships are critical for helping your teen decide not to use alcohol or other drugs.

Family traditions help give teens a sense of security and identity. The key is to be inclusive of their interests and be open to creating new traditions as your children grow out of old ones.

  • Spend time on shared activities your teen wants to participate in and family traditions important to them.

  • If alcohol is part of a family gathering, make sure it isn’t the focus and have plenty of alternative beverages.

  • Provide opportunities for your teen’s friends to hang out or participate in one of your traditions.

  • As a family, consider helping someone in need. It is a great way to have your teen focus on someone else and share your family values.

It doesn’t matter if your family decides to keep longstanding holiday traditions, invent new ones or do something in-between—flexibility and good communication with your children is key.

April 2014

Parents play a major role in their children’s choice about using alcohol.

In Union County, over 50% of students who reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days indicate that they get alcohol from their friends while another 30% indicate they get it from their parents. (2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey)

Don’t Be a Friend, Be a Parent

Underage use of alcohol is a serious problem that too often leads to harmful consequences for youth and their families. Parents can protect themselves and their teens by following these guidelines when hosting parties for their children:

  • Refuse to supply alcohol to children or allow drinking in your home or on your property.
  • Be at home when your teen has a party.
  • Make sure your teen’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home.
  • Talk to other parents about not providing or allowing drinking at their youth events.
  • Talk to your child about what they should do if offered alcohol at another home.

Visit www.thecoolspot.gov for more information about underage drinking.

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