Parents and Siblings Can Take Alcohol Classes Too

by: Mike Miller

For those of you who read my blog regularly you know that I do everything I can to dissuade parents from providing alcohol for their children and their children’s friends.

Just how important is the role of parental example? As reported in

Parents play an important role in helping teens make smart decisions when it comes to alcohol. According to a recent report, 83 percent of youths report parents are the leading influence in their decision to not drink alcohol. Research also shows regular communication between parents and teens has a positive influence on the decisions teens make. Teens are more likely to live up to the parent’s expectations and less likely to drink or use drugs when open and regular communication is occurring.

Research has shown that youths who use alcohol before age 15 are five times more likely to become alcohol dependent than adults who begin drinking at age 21. Underage drinking can lead to destructive behaviors such as physical and emotional violence, sexual mistakes or misjudgments, accidental injuries and deaths, alcohol overdose and increased risk of suicide.

Siblings play an equally important role: Research shows that children who have older brothers or sisters who drink are more likely to use alcohol. Remind your older child that he or she serves as a role model for the younger brother or sister and that your rules and expectations about drinking apply to all underage family members. If the older sibling is of legal drinking age, ask him or her to always drink in moderation and to never encourage drinking or offer underage siblings alcohol.

Keep in mind that adults that supplying alcohol at teen parties is not only a bad idea but also illegal. In some states it is a felony even if nobody is injured or ticketed. I think it is a good idea for parents to take an online alcohol class with their progeny to help keep the message clear and keep the kids safe.