I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s
Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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With prom season dwindling down, graduation time is creeping up. The end of the school year tends to be a time for teens to find trouble but, it’s also the perfect opportunity for parents to take action and to engage their teens in some frank discussion about underage drinking. If you don’t know how to kick the conversation off, definitely check out Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking website! It’s loaded with great tips and has some especially useful advice from FTAD Spokesperson, educator and certified parent coach, MJ Corcoran.

Family Talk isn’t a set of rules. It’s simply a different approach that helps parents more effectively use the tools they already have. Family Talk About Drinking has been around for over 20 years and is committed to helping parents help their teens! The program relies in part on research from the GFK Roper Youth Report which confirms that us, as parents, have more power than we think we do when it comes to showing our teens the right way! In fact, parents have the greatest influence on their teenagers decision about drinking alcohol ages for 20 years. Even cooler, our influence has gotten stronger over the last 15 years! 

The tips are various and you can even tailor them based on your parenting style or the age of your children. Some of my biggest takeaways were MJ’s advice on finding that window of opportunity to talk to your teens. I don’t know about you, but in my experience, talking to my teen about some of these issues can sometimes be a challenge with such a big family, busy schedules, always lots going on – but talking about the “serious stuff” that sometimes prompts a teenage eye roll is more than important, its vital and ultimately, can be life saving!! So, find that window of opportunity and make the conversation happen.

MJ recommends that we listen to and respect our teenager’s opinions, even when we disagree. Doing so helps them connect with you a little easier and encourages them to be a little more open about the tough issues like underage drinking. Once you do get them talking, keep the conversation going by asking open-ended questions. MJ recommends that you help your teen think through potential scenarios involving alcohol as a big part of the dialogue. And finally, MJ suggests that this time of the year is the perfect time to encourage accountability and, on this topic she offers one of my favorite tips, “In the busy time leading up to prom and graduation, a text is not enough. Encourage accountability and check in with a call.”

 [Tweet “Encourage accountability and check in with a call. #Graduation #ABFamilyTalk”]

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[Tweet “If you suspect your teen is drinking don’t attack her or make accusations #ABFamilyTalk”]

Both of my teenagers  in the third stage of parenting, ie, the Coach stage, ages 14-21. This is such a huge time of transition and the tips from Family Talk About Drinking are so helpful! I’m certainly taking MJ Corcoran’s advice to heart. She says, 

Parenting independent thinkers requires creating a parenting style to match. Focus on listening and creating accountability. This method is the “Coach” approach — the most effective way to stay connected and extend your influence.

About the Anheuser-Busch Family Talk About Drinking Program

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Anheuser-Busch collaborated with MJ Corcoran M.Ed to create Family Talk About Drinking, a program that helps parents talk to their kids about alcohol, underage drinking and responsible choices.

More than just a set of rules, Family Talk About Drinking is a supportive community that allows parents to learn new ideas, share stories, and ask questions about how best to tackle the problem of underage drinking.

Visit the website here or find Family Talk About Drinking on Facebook and be sure to download the free Family Talk About Drinking Parent Guide here

Discuss Family Talk About Drinking with me in a comment on this blog post! Do you have questions about how to talk to your kids about alcohol or maybe a few tips to offer other parents?

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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