It’s Time to Talk: College
As a parent, you may think your children are not listening to what you are saying. However, research shows that parents have more influence over their children than their friends. It’s Time to Talk!
Key Discussion Points
- Legal consequences of underage drinking and how it could affect their chosen career path. View more about this topic from the PA Liquor Control Board HERE.
- Alcohol and marijuana are still the most popular drugs on college campuses. However, the use of prescription drugs for non-medical reasons is on the rise.
- Mental health problems may start to pop up. Be in the know of the campus mental health programs. Some young adults may turn to drugs and alcohol in a way to cope with their anxiety or depression.
- Many young adults are taking a leap and leaving home for many different reasons. Continue to maintain open lines of communication. Let them know you will always be a resource before difficult situations arise.
- Drugs and alcohol impair the decision making process which could lead to sexual assaults.
- Drug and alcohol use can lead to unplanned pregnancy. Mothers who use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs while pregnant are putting their unborn child at risk for various complications and birth defects.
Communication Tips at Any Age
- Clearly communicate the risks of drug/alcohol use to their bodies, relationships and legal consequences.
- Let your kids know you disapprove of any drug/alcohol use.
- Use “teachable moments” to raise drug/alcohol issues. This could be a scene in a movie or something in the news. Ask them about how they feel about it.
- Frequently talk AND LISTEN to your kids about how things are going in their lives.
Parenting Tips at Any Age
- Have ongoing conversations and provide age appropriate information about drugs and alcohol.
- Be a role model when it comes to drinking, taking medicine and handling stress. If you feel you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Know your child’s friends and their parents.
- Monitor, supervise and set boundaries – The media content your child watches and listens to has the power to influence decision making.
- Discuss good decision making skills with your child.
- Be aware of your child’s social relationships in person and online.
- Don’t believe that allowing your older teen to drink around you will help them learn responsible drinking. Alcohol use is not a “rite of passage.”
- Children need and want the rules they tend to break away from. Expect resistance and attitude. Stay strong.
“I have used drugs in the past.” – Don’t be afraid to talk!
- This isn’t about you, this is about your child and the choices they have to make.
- Don’t Lie… However, do not glamorize your experience.
- Share with your child the lessons you learned or the consequences you had to face because of your drug and/or alcohol use.
- Remember, your child could be at higher risk for addiction if there is drug/alcohol abuse in your family.
More Information & Resources:
Visit our Parent Resource Page
“How to Prevent Drug Use at Every Age” (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
“How to talk to your kids about drugs if you did drugs” (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
“How to Listen” (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)