Young adolescents are growing up fast
— and yearning to be “grown up” even faster. It's important to give youth the direction that they need while they still look to you for guidance. Help support them by teaching them how to say “Yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “No” to underage drinking.
One of the big decisions youth face, even at this age, is how to say no to alcohol. The statistics make it clear that your involvement is essential. Why? Data shows that underage drinking continues to be a troubling issue:
About 10 million Americans aged 12 to 20—a quarter of underage kids—say they consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
That same study found that older teens are more likely to drink; 2 percent of 12 year olds compared to 29 percent by the time they're 17.
According to the 2012 Monitoring the Future Study, 30% of 8th graders report they have tried alcohol once in their lifetime and 13% report they have been drunk. Also, 58% of 8th grade students say it is “fairly” or “very” easy to get alcohol.
By far parents are the leading influence on their children's decisions to not drink alcohol. Eight out of ten youth (83%) and parents (89%) said parents are the leading influence in their kid's decision not to drink at all or not to drink on occasion.
82% of parents think it is extremely important to have early conversations about alcohol as a way to combat peer pressure & delay potential experimenting.
Make no mistake: tweens know what's going on, and they're more than just a little curious about it. So before they're presented with the opportunity, it's critical to give them the information they need to make the right decision. Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix
provides you with information and practical tips on how to talk to adolescents about alcohol. It is important to have these conversations early and often, not just "one big conversation" so make sure that either as a teacher, parent or caregiver, you get involved!.
Visit our About Us section to learn more about our program materials and download the Facilitator's Guide for our new Ask, Listen, Learn interactive activity!