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Survey: Parents Let Their Own Experiences Affect Drug and Alcohol Boundaries Set for Teens at Prom and Graduation Parties
Date:5/29/2008

use is both a real risk to their health and also a behavior the family will not condone," added Pasierb. "Many parents feel overwhelmed and conflicted about setting hard rules about drug and alcohol use, especially if they drank or used drugs as a teen - but they must set clear, non-negotiable rules. We urge parents to not only talk with their kids, but to encourage fellow parents to follow suit and enforce the same rules."

Before big events like prom or graduation, remind your teens of the discussions you've had and of your expectations for them not to use drugs or alcohol. Also, get in touch with the parents of your teenager's friends to be sure that they're also setting a no-use rule, and won't be serving alcohol at their houses. Some parents say, "I'd rather my kids drink at home where I know they're safe" - but this can open the door to other kids drinking and potentially driving under the influence of alcohol. In most communities, this exposes the parents who serve alcohol to legal liability for accidents related to drugs or alcohol consumed at their house.

For parents of younger kids, remember to begin the dialogue when your kids are young; talk with them early and have frequent conversations. This could springboard off a "teachable moment" - like an incident that occurred in their town or school, a problem in your extended family, a popular music video or movie or something that happened on the news. Set a "no-use" expectation for your teens, including for alcohol, and make it explicitly known to them that substance abuse will not be tolerated in your home.

The Partnership's Web site drugfree.org provides parents and caregivers with practical tips, tools and information to educate themselves about drug and alcohol abuse, start the conversation with their kids and keep it going. Parents can log on to http://www.drugfree.org/Parent/KeepingTabs/11_Poin
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SOURCE MetLife Foundation
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