For teens, summer months bring high-school graduation parties with friends and extended curfews allowing for later nights.
This time of year can also mean that teens have more free time and could face added pressure to drink alcohol.
It’s important for parents to exercise their positive parenting influence and help their teens make responsible decisions.
In fact, when it comes to underage drinking, parents have the biggest influence on their teens’ decisions.
According to the 2007 GfK Roper Youth Report (SM) , 69 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 say their parents — not their peers — are the No. 1 influence on their decisions about whether they drink alcohol [Drunk Teen], and that finding has remained consistent since this survey began more than a decade ago.
Lonnie Carton, Ph.D., director of Teen and Family Resources for the Web-based “Warm2Kids” program and an advisory panel member of the “Family Talk About Drinking” program, offers parents advice on how to use their positive influence with teens as they celebrate graduation and enjoy the more relaxed days ahead.
“It’s important for parents to create an atmosphere of open communication with their teens, especially during the summer months when teens have more free time,” Carton says.
“Along with setting firm rules and guidelines, parents can teach teens critical decision-making skills to help them make responsible choices — including not drinking when underage.”
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