Start Talking Before They Start Drinking: Activities to Facilitate Communication
Use these questions to interview your child and then let your child interview you.Let your child’s questions and answers lead you into a longer conversation. Remember to change the questions as needed based on your child’s age. For example, you might ask a teenager about his or her future goals, but you might ask a younger child, “What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?” Be sure to practice active listening by showing interest in what your child says; this will validate your child’s feelings. If your child says something you don’t agree with, respond positively and try to find a constructive answer. Make sure your child knows your beliefs.
Sample Interview Questions
1. What three words would you use to describe yourself? To describe me?
2. Who are some of your role models? What do you admire about these people?
3. What scares or concerns you? What makes you happy?
4. What are your future goals?
5. How would drinking alcohol get in the way of your future goals?
6. What would you do if you were offered alcohol at a party?
7. What would you do if the person responsible for driving you has been
8. What would you really like to ask me but are too afraid to talk about?
Use the enclosed pages to imagine that you are having a dialog with your child. This exercise will prepare you to speak openly with your child and will help you to anticipate his or her reaction to your ideas. Be as realistic as possible.
- Write down what you would think, say, and feel while having a conversation about underage drinking with your child.
- Now write down what you imagine your child is going to think, say and feel.
- Share your answers with your child.
Talking with your parents about underage drinking can be challenging. This exercise will prepare you to speak openly to your mom or dad about underage drinking and will help you to anticipate what your parent’s reaction might be. Be as realistic as possible.
- Write down what you would think, say, and feel while having a conversation about underage drinking with your parent.
- Now write down what you imagine your mom or dad is going to think, say and feel.
- Share your answers with your parent.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Mental Health Information Center.
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