Back to School – “The Power of Parents”

Posted: August 16, 2010 in Underage Drinking Prevention
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As we prepare for school from kindergarten to college, I thought I would share a new program that MADD has to help parents talk to their children (young or old) about the dangers of alcohol.  Your voice does matter!

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Nationwide Insurance launched “The Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence by MADD™”  to give parents of high school students the communication tools they need to stop teen alcohol use.  The program features resources at    A GfK Roper Youth Report showed 74% of kids (age 8-17) said their parents are the leading influence on their decisions about drinking.  Data also shows that a zero tolerance message from parents to teens is the most effective in deterring underage drinking and it also supports the lifesaving 21 drinking age law, which is in all 50 states.

Dr. Turrisi said, “As a parent and a scientist, I am proud to be a partner with MADD and completely support the work being done on:  MADD’s goals of improving the lives of children and families are noble and their efforts to achieve these goals draw on the best of what prevention science has to offer.  I strongly believe that MADD’s efforts will tip the balance of the scales in the favor of families in the fight against underage drinking and drunk driving.” 

MADD Nebraska  staff will be trained in Washington, D.C. in September on:”The Power of Parents” Its Your Influence.  To be trained: Simera Reynolds, State Executive Director and Sara Magnus, Volunteer Resource Coordinator.  We are both looking forward to the education component and the opportunity to bring this tool home to our state. By working with Dr. Turrisi, we can work to save lives in our state.

MADD’s program The Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence™ is supported by National PTA, the largest child advocacy association in the country, who will share these resources with its members.  The program is also supported by National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide Insurance and Contributing Sponsor Volkswagen. 

7 Tips for Getting Through To Your Teen
 1)    Communicate before a problem starts

  • Have important discussions now, before there’s blaming, anger, or punishments.
  • Agree on a time to start talking together about alcohol’s dangers.

2)    Discuss rules and consequences

  • Explain how you expect your son or daughter to act, and why.
  • Tell your teen plainly that you don’t want him or her drinking. 
  • Agree on consequences of broken rules.

3)    Show you care

  • Gently touch your teen on the arm or back to show affection. 
  • Tell your teen, “You love them and want them to be healthy and safe. Explain that’s why you need to talk together about the dangers of underage drinking.”
 4)    Pay attention

  • Even when life gets hectic, take time out to listen to your teen.
  • Monitor where your teen is and what your teen is doing, constantly.

5)    Share family activities

  • Have dinner together at least three times a week.

6)     Give and get respect

  • When your teen talks to you, listen and reply respectfully.
  • Insist that your teen treat you with respect, too.

7)     Enforce consequences consistently

  • If your teen breaks the rules, stay calm and enforce the consequences.



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