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The Youth Task Force believes that parents are a great influence in the choices that kids today are making. In fact, research shows that the #1 reason kids don't drink is that they do not want to disappoint their parents.

This site contains resources for you as parents to help you continue to support your kids through the difficult choices they will have to make as well as the difficult decisions you will have to make for them.
 
Advice & Tips
 

Talk early and often : Keep lines of communication open from an early age. Talk about tough subjects, emotions, their bodies, drugs and alcohol, and friendships. Having dinner together regularly. This will make future commucation a lot easier. Use teachable moments to stimulate the conversation.

Make sure you kids know the facts: Educate yourself about the risks of alcohol for youth, and communicate them to your children, especially if someone in your family has had a problem with alcohol.

Get involved in activities with your child:
Find common interests and activities that your children love and that you can be involved in, too. A caring, interested adult helps reduce the risks of substance abuse or mental health problems.

Be a good role model:
Think about what you say and do. Kids pick up on these things from a very young age. Model responsible drinking if you drink.

Help teach your children to carefully choose their friends: Talk to them about positive relationships and what makes a good friend. Encourage them to talk to you or a trusted adult if a friend is in trouble.

Set Clear rules and boundaries: Start when kids are young with age appropriate rules and update those rules as your children earn more freedom and face more challenges. Be clear about your family rules about underage drinking. Be consistent.

Monitor your children's activities:
Know where your children are, who they are with, and what supervision they have. Let them have increasing freedom, but only as they earn it! Also safeguard your supply of alcohol in order to keep them or a visitor from helping themselves. Contact other parents who are hosting get - togethers, and discuss the issue of alcohol openly.

If you think your child is drinking, seek help before a crisis occurs:
School social workers, private counselors and youth leaders are all trained to help. Reach out. Kids can change.


For more information visit these websites for more information


www.timetotalk.org

www.straightdopeforparents.org

www.thepowerofparents.org

www.talkingwithkids.org

www.theantidrug.org

www.alcoholfreechildren.org

www.thecoolspot.gov



Youth Task Force of Martha's Vineyard