Talk. They Hear You.
- Children in Sacramento County are drinking too early, too much and too often.
- Alcohol continues to be the #1 substance of abuse by youth.
- Nearly half of all 9th graders in Sacramento County have tried alcohol.
- Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol consumption.
When teens drink it affects schoolwork, behavior, and the potential for a successful future. Talking about the risks of underage drinking is critical. Parents and caregivers can reduce underage drinking among youth by talking with their kids early and often.
The Sacramento County Coalition for Youth has gathered input from community members including youth, and the leading issue they identified is that parents need to communicate with their kids about alcohol use and the dangers of alcohol, and share their expectations with their kids. This campaign is designed to engage parents and provides the education, tools and support they need.
The information below provides the tools to start talking about alcohol and underage drinking with your children. Become aware and get the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to prevent underage drinking. You can prevent underage drinking in Sacramento and provide a brighter future for your kids and our community.
If you Talk, They Hear You. Check out the FREE conversation starting tools for parents and caregivers below.
Tips for Parents:
- How to tell if your child is drinking
- Why have the conversation?
- Create a family agreement plan
- Tips for starting the conversation
- Talk. They Hear You.
Talk About Underage Drinking Today
As a parent, it is your job to ask questions and talk to your kids often about underage drinking — before a sleepover, a school dance, in the car, on a walk, over a meal or anywhere you have their attention.
Be a Good Example
Remember, teens are watching what you do along with hearing what you say. Set a good example. Be aware of where you keep your alcohol, and always remind your child that the alcohol in your house is off-limits. Build trust and talk to your children about underage drinking today.
- Try to talk every day. Keep asking, keep talking.
- Create opportunities for conversation.
- Have shorter, more frequent conversations and be clear.
- As they grow, provide them with more information. They are ready for it.
- Listen! Let them share their feelings and concerns with you.
- Tell them a story from your own life: “Have I ever told you about my friend…?”
- After a party: “Did you have fun at the party? What did you guys do?”
- Relate to them: “Why do you think kids drink alcohol?""
- “Hey I heard about… What do you think about that?”
- “I know you are hanging out with……Here’s what to look out for.”
- “You’re a good role model, and I’m proud of you for not drinking."
It's never too early to talk to your children about alcohol. If you do not talk about it, you are still saying something. What you say to your children about alcohol is up to you. But parents who do not discourage underage drinking may have an indirect influence on their children's alcohol use.