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Family Talk is proud to bring together leading authorities in the fields of parenting and child and adolescent healthcare to form a community of support for parents.  Labatt's parenting coaches – periodically joined by guest experts – will answer your questions about children and alcohol.

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  • The other influence: peer pressure

    What’s the evidence that adults can influence their kid’s decisions on alcohol? Isn't it mostly about peer pressure?

    Various studies have indicated that parents do indeed have an important influence on whether kids decide to drink.  One such study mentioned elsewhere on this site was published in the 2009 Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs, titled, “The earlier the more? Differences in the Links Between Age at First Drink and Adolescent Alcohol Use and Related Problems According to Quality of Parent – Child Relationship.”   This doesn’t mean peers have no influence – they do, and peer influence grows as our children get older.  Yet parents still retain an influence at every age.  Our job is to learn how to use our influence to make the most positive impact.

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  • When alcohol goes missing

    I’m concerned that my daughter may be taking alcohol from the house. Do I confront her even though I can’t prove anything, or just keep quiet?

    Thanks for your question.  This isn’t an easy situation but, if your daughter is indeed helping herself to your alcohol, you need to know.  Starting a discussion doesn’t mean you need to accuse her of anything.  Choose a casual moment – maybe over dinner or when you’re both in the car – and ask her, in a friendly manner, whether she’s ever tried alcohol.  Download our Parent Guide for tips on how to make this conversation a successful one.  Keep in mind that the first goal is to create a climate of openness and mutual respect.  Your daughter needs to know it’s okay to speak to you about alcohol, and you need an opportunity to communicate that underage drinking is not okay.  Good luck in starting the dialogue and please feel free to check back with Family Talk if there’s a need for more follow-up.

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  • No free pass on family rules

    All this information on the neurological science behind the teenage brain – isn't this just giving teens a free pass for inexcusable behaviour?

    Although it’s important to remember our kid’s brains are still maturing, this doesn’t mean we can’t hold them accountable for their actions.  Kids need limits and rules, and a parent’s job is to put the rules in place.  That said, it’s useful for parents to have realistic expectations of their child.  It’s more powerful to be able to communicate with them at their level and give them guidance, than to be operating on a different plane and dispensing punishments that might do nothing to improve a child’s behavior going forward.  Research shows that punishing is damaging to communication between a parent and child, and can actually lessen a parent’s influence over time.

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  • One-size fits many

    Have you seen the Family Talk ”stages of parenting” model have a real impact on preventing kids from drinking?    

    All of the parenting tips in Family Talk are drawn from years of clinical practice working with real Canadian families.  No parenting approach works in all situations with all children 100% of the time.  Our aim is to provide some suggestions.  We welcome parents to try them, consult with us on the results, and then take it together from there.

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  • Blind eye or seeing?

    My 18-year old son is now in university.  We live in Nova Scotia where the legal drinking age is 19, so he and his friends are not there yet, but almost.  Is it best to turn a blind eye to them having a few drinks at home?

    That’s a great question.  The first concern is that, if you allow your son to drink alcohol at home, it’s sending him the message that you approve of alcohol, even though the law says he’s underage.  Second, if other kids are involved, it would be overstepping the bounds to make that decision for their parents.  The only way to avoid negative consequences is to disallow underage drinking, both outside and inside the home.

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Family Talk is your go-to website for parenting information and support

Here you’ll find information on relationship approaches that work throughout the different stages of parenting, and a caring community of support. Through webinars, engaging blogs, how-to videos, the latest research findings, and our downloadable Parent Guide, Family Talk offers it all.

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