How to Educate on Risk Reduction to your Child/Teen
Why Teach Alcohol Risk Reduction Information To Young People?
Parents want to help their children avoid problems throughout life, not just during adolescence. Because the low-risk guidelines include abstinence, they are adjustable for different points in life. The guidelines are not permission for adolescents to drink. It is the parents’ right and responsibility to set rules about alcohol use.
Low-risk choices are based on research on health and impairment problems. The decision of which low-risk choices are acceptable is based on personal and social factors such as religious beliefs, laws, family practices, and for young people, parental expectations. At all ages, there are times when quantity and frequency choices that are low risk for health and impairment problems are not acceptable under the law, to employers or to families, for example, while driving or at work.
When it comes to alcohol, young people need both objective information on risk as well as clear expectations. Giving information without expectations can be harmful, but giving limits without information can be detrimental too. Young people need information for a lifetime and expectations appropriate for their age. They need these from the people who know them best: their parents.
The information parents give children is what they take with them into adulthood. Many parents expect their children to abstain from alcohol until age 21. In all states, abstinence is the only low-risk choice that is always consistent with the law for those under age 21. However, if our youth are only taught to abstain to age 21, what information will they use if they choose to drink at age 21? Today, many young adults believe when they turn 21, the sky is the limit. Also, in most states it is legal for teens to drink in certain situations such as with family. With no research-based guidelines, young people are left to define “moderate” or “responsible” drinking for themselves, and this can cause problems. To reduce risk for a lifetime, parents need to teach research-based information to influence their children’s choices.
** This curriculum is designed to be completed in three 3-hour sessions or two 4.5-hour sessions, totaling 9-hours. Please contact (762) 241-4732 to schedule days/times for your sessions.