Many children are prone to experimentation and risky behaviors. Unfortunately, this includes drinking alcohol while under the age of 21. For teenagers, this means that the risk of impaired driving is very real. This probably concerns you as a parent, and rightfully so. That’s why it’s might be helpful to talk to your child about drinking and driving before it’s too late.
Tips for talking about drinking and driving
A lot of people struggle with discussing these kinds of challenging topics with their children. There are things you can do to make it a little bit easier, though, while remaining effective.
- Take advantage of opportunities to talk: A lot of parents wait for the right time to talk about drinking and driving, but seeking that perfect moment can lead to procrastination. So think about talking about it at dinner, when driving your kid, or when your child asks to borrow the car. Anytime is a good time to talk about something this important.
- Make expectations clear: Remind your child that you expect them to avoid drinking and driving. Repetition can be your friend here.
- Help them identify ways out: Even if your child does drink alcohol, they should have plenty of options available to them to help them avoid drunk driving. Help your child identify those options by discussing ride sharing, calling a sober friend or relative, or even staying the night wherever they are.
- Be caring, not accusatory: Your conversation about drinking and driving shouldn’t come across as you being disappointed or blaming your child. Instead, it should be couched in terms of your concern for their safety.
Do your best to avoid becoming a statistic
The sad reality is that about 800 people are injured in drunk driving crashes on any given day. As scary as that sounds, you can minimize that risk for you and your child. Don’t be afraid to seek out the help you need in addressing these matters, whether from family and friends or professionals.