CREATING A COMMUNITY THAT DEVELOPS IN OUR YOUTH THE POWER
AND CONVICTION TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES
Connecting Youth relies on the support of local schools; local, state and federal grants and the generous support of the local community. Please make a donation today!
Role Modeling as You Celebrate the Season
This time of year alcohol is often a regular part of the holiday celebration and traditions for some families – office parties, eggnog, and champagne toasts can help to create confusing messages for kids about healthy responsible use. During the teen years, the part of the brain responsible for making complex judgments is not as mature as the parts dedicated to emotion and motivation. So it’s only natural for emotions and impulses to win out over good judgment. At the same time, the incredible changes that take place in the brain during these years leave it very vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and drugs—meaning that the decisions your teen makes now could impact them for life.
We know that parental alcohol use and parents' attitudes toward drinking are one of the strongest influences on decisions children will make and the perceptions they have regarding alcohol. Adolescents are less likely to drink if they live in homes where parents have specific rules against drinking underage and also drink responsibly themselves.
For parents and caregivers, the holiday season offers an excellent opportunity to model the appropriate role of alcohol at celebrations. Children often pay greater attention to what their parents do than what they say. Here are a few tips and things to consider:
finding natural ways to talk with kids about drugs and alcohol can be challenging
Finding natural ways to talk with kids about drugs and alcohol can be challenging. Especially with teens who may seem like they’re not listening—or don’t care what you have to say. But the truth is, children care deeply about their parents’ opinions, even if they don’t show it directly. In fact, the #1 reason kids give for not drinking is that they don’t want to disappoint their parents.
In Vermont, 30% of high school students reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days (2015 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey). So the good news to tell kids is that most kids their age are NOT drinking!
There is no single reason why teenagers do choose to use drugs or alcohol. However, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offers a list of the most common issues and influences behind the behavior of teenage drug and alcohol use here.
ParentUP, a Vermont resource from the Vermont Department of Health, gives kids tips and tools to help parents and guardians talk to their kids about drug and alcohol use.
Parents can help prevent alcohol and other drug use with the following strategies:
NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAYS
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Health departments and drug disposal sites around the country will join the Drug Enforcement Agency biannually in the spring and fall to hold National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, providing a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, while educating about the potential for abuse and medications. Find participating sites in Vermont at DEA.gov. http://ow.ly/AGno30g8ZbV
Vermont parents know it’s important to have conversations with their kids about alcohol and other drug use. But how? Watch video tips from Vermont parents on how to keep teens on the right track when it comes to alcohol and other drug use.
Click here to watch the videos.
Be someone who matters
Approach securing your prescriptions the same way you would other valuables in your home, like jewerly or cash. Click here to learn more.
You are your kids’ #1 influence. Talk to your kids about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.