It’s important to talk about drinking with your college student. In fact, it’s a great idea to start the conversation even earlier when your child is in middle or high school. However, the summer before college starts is a great opportunity to reinforce your discussions about the dangers of underage drinking. Be calm and open with them. Don’t try to lecture them, but instead instill trust. Give them resources so that they will know how to respond to peer pressure or tricky situations. And finally, keep the lines of communication open all through their college years and beyond. It’s never too late to start the conversation about safe drinking habits.
How to Talk About Drinking with Your College Student: Opening the Dialogue
Be Calm and Open
If you want to talk about drinking with your college student, be calm and open. Your son or daughter might feel uncomfortable with the conversation, so pick a time when they are relaxed. Try to pick a time when they’ll also have plenty of time to have an open discussion. Try to remain calm while you talk to them and observe their body language. If they are giving signals that they’re uncomfortable, back off a bit. You can also dive into the topic a few different times if you need to.
Remember that if you want to talk about drinking with your college student, you should avoid lecturing them. Children never take well to being lectured by their parents. Instead, approach the topic as an open discussion. Try to show that you trust them to make sound choices. They are, after all, becoming an adult now. Be open and honest about your own past if they have questions. Give them plenty of time to process what you’ve talked about.
Give them Resources
It’s a great idea to have resources available if you want to talk about drinking with your college student. Make sure to look up the college’s policy on drinking. If they are student-athletes or there on a scholarship, make sure that they understand the risks of drinking underage. Also, give them advice on how to handle peer pressure or situations where a friend is intoxicated. Review safety information with them about what to do if somebody passes out near them. You can even put them in touch with a safe adult or counselor nearby that they can talk to if they want to discuss drinking with somebody other than their parent.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Finally, keep the lines of communication open throughout their college years. It’s important to talk about drinking with your college student, but it shouldn’t be a one-time conversation. Check-in with them periodically and make sure that they know they can come to you with questions or concerns.
It’s a great idea to talk about drinking with your college student. They are about to be in a new place surrounded by a lot of new pressures and friends. Give them the resources they need to make the right decisions. Approach the topic calmly and try to build trust. Treat them like an adult rather than a child you are lecturing. Give them plenty of resources so that they have all the information they need to make good decisions. And finally, keep checking in with them throughout their college years, and even beyond. Hopefully, you can empower them to resist peer pressure and make responsible decisions about underage drinking in college.