Parties and Alcohol
By Claire Melloy, Director of Student Development
Paul Dillon is the Director and founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA ). Paul has made a number of visits to Radford for wellbeing presentations to parents, students and other community members. Paul advises that:
“Parents and carers can play a significant role in preventing, or at the very least delaying adolescent alcohol and other drug use. Factors that have been shown to have a positive impact on protecting children from alcohol harm include:
• an authoritative parenting style that combines strictness and warmth
• appropriate parental monitoring of a child’s activities.”
Key messages from Paul, and others, are that parents should:
• promote positive norms: the majority of 15 year olds classify themselves as non-drinkers
• challenge misconceptions: “not everyone does it”, alcohol is a drug and it is possible to celebrate without it
• tell your child your views on teen drinking: make your values absolutely clear and your reasons for this stand.
With regard to parties, my advice to parents is that they should:
• Call the host of a party and ensure that there will be a high level of adult supervision.
• Pick your child up from a party. A sleepover is not a good idea.
• No matter how much you believe that your child is the exception, it is not a good idea to go away and leave a teenager with a ‘free house’.
• If you choose to host a party, ensure active supervision and be aware of your moral and legal responsibilities.
DARTA has developed a range of resource materials for parents, including:
Teens, parties and alcohol: A practical guide to keeping your child safe (.pdf)
Years 7, 8 and 9 parents: Why the 'alcohol and parties' discussion is important now! (.pdf)
Parenting style and its impact on alcohol and other drug use (.pdf)
Parental monitoring and its impact on alcohol and other drug use (.pdf)
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