Tuesday, April 16, 2013


PowerTalk 21 ~ MADD

I am an adult.  I am a mom.  And I enjoy a margarita. 

My kids have seen me and my husband {and our friends and relatives} with a beer in our hands.  They have grown up knowing that these are "adult drinks" and "you wouldn't like them". 

But as my children get older, I recognize the need to educate them on the dangers of drinking in excess, the dangers of drinking when you are not old enough and the dangers of drinking and driving.

Last week, I was presented with some pretty alarming statistics that confirmed the need for this conversation sooner than later.....

Did you know that Teen alcohol use kills over 5000 people each year, yet only 1/3 of those are traffic related?

Did you know that 1 in 3 eighth grade students have tried alcohol?

Did you know that 1 in 5 teenager binge drink, yet only 1 in 100 parents think their teens binge drink?

Did you know that 3 out of 4 teens try alcohol outside the home before graduation?

Underage drinking is an adult problem - we provide the alcohol for our children to drink - sure, maybe you don't hand them a beer, however, by remaining silent and not teaching them the dangers upfront, you are contributing to the problem.  

MADD {Mothers Against Drunk Drivers} has an amazing resource to help parents with your discussions.  The Power of Parents Parent Handbook, developed by MADD and Pennsylvania State University’s Dr. Robert Turrisi, provides guidance for talking with teens about the dangers of drinking before age 21, and is based on research proven to reduce underage drinking by up to 30 percent. 

One of the most helpful things I found from the handbook were the Seven Tips for Connecting with your Teen.  As we are just moving into my daughter's teen year, this resource will come in handy several times, and for more topics than just the dangers of alcohol.

April 21st is PowerTalk 21 day—the day set aside for us to talk with our children about the dangers of drinking before the age of 21.  Studies show that 74% of teens say their parents are the number one influence on their decisions about alcohol.  There couldn't be a more compelling reason than that to be the one person to talk to them. 

For resources like the above mentioned ones and the Power of Parents Handbook, make sure you sign up to download it here

April 21 is PowerTalk 21 Day – the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol. Research shows parents are the biggest influence on teens’ decisions about alcohol. For more information, visit madd.org/powerofparents

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MADD Texas. The opinions and text are all mine.