Are You Concerned With Underage Drinking?

I can’t remember when I had my first beer. I do recall being a teenager and mowing our lawn on a super hot summer day. My dad would be doing yard work and while he wasn’t (and still isn’t) a big drinker at all, he’d enjoy a cold beer every now and then. He always said nothing was as refreshing as an ice cold beer right after you finish some yard work.

He definitely let me have a sip when I was a teenager. And I definitely remember almost gagging and spitting it out before running inside for a Coke.

I really wasn’t the party type in high school (read: nerd), so I didn’t really “drink drink” until I went to college. And then, sure, I was underage and hitting frat parties, doing keg stands, you name it. My parents definitely knew about it and just told me to be careful and “don’t be stupid.” And I wasn’t. So drinking’s never really been a big concern of mine.

But now that I’ve got kids, I wonder what they’ll be like when they’re older. My wife’s not a drinker at all either, and my kids don’t like drinking anything but water really. So at the moment, it’s super tough to picture them as underage drinkers.

 I’m going to be part of a focus group next month for The Century Council where parents will be discussing underage drinking, and how to talk to your kids about it, whether they’re already drinking or they’re years off from it. As part of the focus group, I filled out a quick online survey, to help the group get a good reading on what’s going on in the underage drinking neighborhood. Anyone can take the survey, and in fact, the more people that do, the more helpful it is overall.

So whether you have kids who are around the drinking age or it’s just something you started thinking about, it’d be great if you could take the survey to share your thoughts. Apparently the group doesn’t want the survey filled out by everyone until after the focus group, so I’ve removed the link for now.

If you’re just looking for some basic information you can download the How to Talk to Your Adolescent About Alcohol brochure (PDF) or get plenty of facts and conversation starters on the Parent’s Corner section of their website.

I hope to follow up the actual focus group with a more detailed post, sharing the valuable tips and information I’ll be learning.

4 thoughts on “Are You Concerned With Underage Drinking?”

  1. I’m 21, so I could drink if I wanted to. I don’t, though, and I especially won’t at the moment because of my depression. There’s no telling what that would do to me, you know? I like wine coolers, and I can’t have more than 8 ounces at once because of whatever it is that makes it so strong.

    My cousin drinks, though. He also does drugs. But I grew up around it. I think kids who grow up in sheltered households who aren’t around it all grow up to be the most rebellious. Those who grow up around it don’t really seem to be bothered by it much.

  2. I only drank a couple times under age – alcohol was not my issue – I liked pot (as a teen quit smoking at 20)- but my husband was a heavy drinker when we got together as is everyone in his family. Now we both don’t drink or smoke ANYTHING lol. So yes drinking AND drugs worry me. But all I can do is talk to my son and hope he makes better decisions then his parents made. And keep an eye on him until 18.

  3. I took the survey – I think it’s so important to talk to your kids about alcohol. My husband and I do drink on occasion, and I grew up in Wisconsin, where we had a ‘kegerator’ in our basement. (yes, those things do exist!) There is also history of alcoholism in my family, and it makes me concerned for my children. Ahh…why can’t they stay little forever?

  4. My son is only 4 but I still worry about it. There is “party” people in the family on both sides and I worry he will want to do more than I can handle! I love that there are people out there that are just as concerned and trying to find a solution to this.

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