Today is “PowerTalk 21” day, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving event, inspiring parents to be their child’s primary advisor in saying “no” to underage drinking. A free webinar on MADD’s web site (www.madd.org) kicks-off 21 days of awareness around the state, including several Power of Parents programs to equip moms and dads with tools to start these crucial conversations. “It is actually proven to reduce underage drinking by nearly 30 percent, as well as improve communication between a teen and a parent,” says Allison Champlin of MADD Connecticut. During Alcohol Awareness Month, the nonprofit organization hopes to increase participation in this important program.
“When you come, it’s not admitting that your child has a problem. It’s simply…gaining more information for you to utilize when talking with your teens,” says Champlin, referencing newly released data based on a national survey of high school students. “Teens whose parents promote underage drinking as completely unacceptable are actually 80 percent less likely to drink than their counterpoints.” The 30-minute program and take-home handbook provide phrases to inspire a connection with a youngster, such as: “Let’s eat dinner together tonight.” Also, ways to be a role model: “I’ll drink tea with my dinner, I am driving.” When kids are constantly bombarded with messages from TV shows, movies and music, parents can’t rely on the teachers in health class to have the tough talks.