Talking to your kids about alcohol

National MADD President, Jan Withers, shares advice for parents on the best way to talk to their children about alcohol and the dangers it poses
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Talking to your kids about alcohol

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Because research shows that parents are the number one influence in their teens decision about alcohol, parents want to be very sure in discussing the dangers of alcohol and underage drinking. To sit down with your kids, you want to make sure you talk to them before any problems even arises. You want to communicate with respect, a mutual respect. You want to pick a good time where it's easy to sit down and talk and have a mutual conversation. You want to be direct and talk about our family values, our boundaries, and consequences if the boundaries are violated, like underage drinking, are violated. All of these are very important factors in talking with our children; doing it with respect. It is so important to communicate, with all of that, that you are doing it because you love them, because you care about their safety. That's the main concern that you have, about their safety. You also want to avoid conversation stoppers, like, "I'd better not catch you..." things like that. That will cause them to put up immediate defenses. Always maintain a mutual respect and listen to them, as well as, talk with them.
TEEN, Substance Use, Alcohol Use

National MADD President, Jan Withers, shares advice for parents on the best way to talk to their children about alcohol and the dangers it poses

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Jan Withers

National President, MADD

Jan Withers joined MADD in 1992, after her 15-year-old daughter, Alisa Joy, was killed by an underage drinker who chose to drive after consuming numerous alcoholic beverages. Withers first volunteered by sharing her story and lobbying for tougher legislation. She wanted to make a difference by helping to stop this 100 percent preventable violent crime. Now as National President, Jan Withers speaks to lawmakers across the country about the importance of legislation requiring ignition interlocks (or “in-car breathalyzers”) for all drunk driving offenders, a key part of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. She also advocates for federal legislation that provides research funding for technology that will turn cars into the cure for drunk driving. In addition, Withers continues to raise awareness for MADD’s victim support services, even leading a monthly support group — while also expanding the reach of MADD’s underage drinking prevention programs.

Driving, Alcohol Use
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