Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Parents, do you really want to know about your teens college atmosphere?

Want to know the top school for a "No Last Call" or "Walk of Shame?" has a list that they claim represents actual students opinions on what is happening on their campuses. No doubt, a lot of underage, illegal drinking happens on many college campuses. This list shows you the worst of the worst for partying.

This is just another reminder that we (yes, me included) need to continue to talk to our college students about the dangers of underage drinking. It's fall...well not here in sweltering Texas...and it's time to have those talks again. You can do it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why giving alcohol to kids is such a bad idea

Just found this series of articles from Minnesota that clearly lay out why providing alcohol to minors is such a bad idea. Check it out at:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Parents are Important: Check out new study

Another study confirming the importance of parents in teens making decisions about drinking alcohol. MADD's resources support parents in their roles to keep teens alcohol free.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taking Time For Dad

Father's Day is this weekend and we can think of so many things dads are great at including: playing, teaching perseverence, helping with sports, and leading families. They protect us, we should help protect them too. Reminding them to designate a sober driver before celebrating, or offering to drive them home. Also, there are many dads who have lost loved ones or even children, due to drunk driving. We encourage them to call MADD's trained victim advocates at 1-877-MADD-HELP. We are here every day, all day and all night. Remember to let your dad know how much you care about him.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Univited Guest that Still Shows Up

They did what they were suppose to do. They uninvited alcohol and drugs to their daughter's graduation party but alcohol still showed up. Now, the parents are charged with hosting an underage drinking party versus a really, cool graduation party full of happy memories. Parents can start early and often talking to teens about alcohol but as the saying goes, "I'm not so worried about you, but I am worried about others," still holds true here. They thought they covered all bases and communicated no alcohol but it still showed up at their home. Do bouncers with breath test devices have to be hired to monitor and control graduation parties and other underage gatherings celebrating the end of a school year? I'm not sure where you find that in the yellow pages...maybe where you found clowns, makeup artists and bounce houses when they were little.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm Bored

When teens are bored what do they do? Some may drink and others may play video games, chat, Internet, Facebook, ipod, and iphone. Some say being bored is ok. It actually teaches someone how to think without being told what to think about and what to do. Being bored might be a sign that the teen is working to find their way through a problem or a solution or be creative. Society may not nurture these instincts too much these days because there there are too many shiny, new gadgets to sell. We applaud parents working to parent and teach their teens how to embrace being bored without being distracted or diverted from their mission: to be successful at being them and no one else.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last week there was an article on a blog:

It talks about this being the time of year when graduation and prom parties are in full swing...and sometimes they are "hosted" by parents who full-well know the kids in attendance will be drinking alcohol.

Our Web site is a great tool for knowing what the laws are, knowing what to use to start (or continue) the conversation about underage drinking and knowing what the experts say.

We have a job as parents and that is to...PARENT. Teaching our kids about "how" to drink is not the best way to do it. It is illegal for them to drink underage. Are we going to tell them it is OK to break this law, but they better not break other laws? Talk about a mixed message.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WSJ looks at binge drinking in the U.K.--it's a big problem

Don't buy into the myth that binge drinking is not a problem for those under 21 in other countries. Here is one snippet from an article in the WSJ this month:

The average Briton 15 and older drinks the equivalent of about 11.2 liters (about three gallons) of pure alcohol a year, compared with the OECD average of 9.7 liters, and 8.6 liters in the U.S. Over one-quarter of England's population is "drinking at hazardous levels," according to a recent report by the Royal College of Physicians and the National Health Service Confederation

To read the entire article go to:

Are your kids sneaking into R-rated movies?

According to USA Today's Sharon Jayson, "Middle-schoolers who are forbidden to watch R-rated movies are less likely to start drinking than peers whose parents are more lenient about such films, new research on 2,406 children shows. Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School found that among those whose parents let them watch R-rated movies "all the time," almost a quarter had tried a drink without their parents' knowledge. That compares with barely 3% who tried a drink among those who were "never allowed" to watch R-movies."

What show are you going to see this weekend? What show is your pre-teen or teen going to watch?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's a constant battle

My daughter is in college and is exposed to parties of all sorts. I'm not naive enough to think that there probably isn't booze at these parties, so I'm continually carrying on the dialogue with her about underage drinking. I remind her (again) about the dangerous effects of drinking underage, as well as the fact that it is illegal since she's under 21. Of course, her daddy Mike was killed by a drunk driver when she was a baby, so there is that as one of the biggest reasons to never drink, drive drunk or get in a car with someone who has been drinking. It IS a constant battle...but, we're winning.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hello Kitty is Old Enough to Drink

Let's just say I am very familiar with the Hello Kitty brand and now can be thankful that not only will my daughters be able to play with her pencils, purses and stuffed animals, but when old enough (21), to drink Hello Kitty wine.

As women continue to catch up with men in drinking and drunk driving, is this a good idea?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beach Blanket Bingo

Spring Break is here and many colleges have started spring break. Now, there are three sets of teens usually: 1) those in college 2) those working and 3) those in college and working. Studies prove those in college drink more. So what is a parent to do? You want your child to succeed, get a good job and have fun.

Tips for success:
1) don't equate drinking to having fun and the only way to have fun
2) know who your children hang around with
3) talk to them early about the dangers of drinking underage
4) limit exposure to some media that might romanticize spring break extravagance, including drinking games and sex-filled images.
5) talk to them early about dangers of underage drinking.

Checkout the movie Beach Blanket Bingo, if all else fails and remind teens Frankie and Annette never drank or had sex and there was a lot of dancing, singing and fun!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Early Years

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

I was visiting with a mother of one of the student's in my oldest's Kindergarten class when she shared "watch out for third grade." I asked what she meant and she said the girls start getting mean and clicks start emerging. She advised to get to know all the parents and start talking to one another because as she put it "I want to know if my daughter is ever the mean girl." "You'd tell me right?" I told her yes. I thought to myself, third grade? What in the world. She went on to explain, as well as one of the teachers, that hormones start and kids start getting more and more a sense of self and the comparisons start and peer pressure, I suppose. Knowing their friends and knowing what is on their minds, even in elementary school, sets up a great conversation line for future situations. I want my oldest to hold her own and have her own confidence, not look to clique groups to give that sense of identity to her.

Check out these offerings for schools trying to reach elementary students about peer pressure and their brain. Let's protect them and help them protect themselves.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Not a lot of family support

If you do not have a lot of family support raising your children, it may be a bit more difficult. This article about the new Ron Howard show Parenthood shines a light on how TV portrays tight-knit, close in proximity families helping each other out, arguing and generally always around. This is not reality for most people. Relatives live all over the country and that family bonding and help with children is from afar and electronic. Do kids who have a lot of family support around them, do better? Do families that have a lot of family (or friend) support do better? All of the tough situations in life may just be a bit easier to confront, tackle and recover with a strong family and friendship support system.

Monday, March 1, 2010

This Weekend

How many parties did your teen have a chance to go to this weekend where alcohol was served? Did you talk to them ahead of time and ask them to not go? Did they go and get drunk or tell their friends they don't like to drink? How does your teen deal with peer pressure? How do you deal with your teen's peer pressure problems? Running the other way won't help. Here's how to answer some of their tough questions.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Please call me if my college kid drinks

A recent article in The Washington Post highlights the need for parents to better understand what is going on with their adult-aged children in college. Underage drinking and parties seem par for the course for many college kids, but if they are under 21, they are not suppose to be drinking according to the law. Rather than look the other way, colleges see where problems continue to lurk when underage drinking runs rampant: bad grades, sexual assaults, injuries, etc. Now, many colleges will tell parents what their teens are up to in order for the parents to join forces with them to protect the youth. I suppose the adage, "you can run but you can't hide" comes to mind and teens should take note. I know I'd want my teen's college to call me if they were drinking. Sounds like a perfect bonding time conversation. Ideally, parents would heed the advice while teens are high school and check out and get a jumpstart on setting the rules early for their kids.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Your shopping at a teen store, you need a flask, right?

Received a media call today from an outlet requesting comment about bedazzled flasks being sold at retail outlet aimed at older teens. I wasn't too surprised given we've received these calls quite a lot over the years, especially prior to prom and graduation. It's not bad enough that thousands of people are impacted by underage drinking each year and that it is illegal, but somehow making flasks available to those young teen girls hovering in the late teens and pre-21 range, seems like a good thing? Unfortunately, across America, flasks, shot glasses, shirts, and the like are marketing to youth. Enough already.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Who Provides the Alcohol?

Now, this is a strange one. Or maybe not. High profile, community leader, commissioned with protecting everyone is charged with providing alcohol to those under 21 years old.

It is so important to know who, what, when when your teens are involved. Who are they with? What are they doing? When will they be home? If they live on college campuses, checking in on them is a good reminder you care. If something seems amiss, it probably is.

Friday, January 29, 2010

You say Potato and I say Pototo

So what is the easiest and most effective way to communicate as a family about serious issues? How do men and women approach parenting and tough topics, like underage drinking? This article provides some insight. Generally, working together and listening are good starts but that may be harder than it seems. With an equal goal of raising responsible, healthy and safe children who become compassionate, generous, smart, disciplined, productive and talented adults, it may be challenging to get onto the same page when parenting, but not impossible.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keep the conversation going

As I talked about in December, the holidays were another good opportunity to talk to your teens about not drinking until they are 21 and about never getting in the car with a drinking driver. I had that talk...again...while my daughter was home from college break. While she always tells me, "I know Mom. I don't drink", she also told me that she does go to parties and there is often booze. She is always the designated driver and has found ways to say "no thanks" without being seen as a goody two shoes. Your teen can do this, too. Keep the conversation are doing a great job!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drinking in Front of the Kids

What is more American that burgers and beer? Likely we'll all see a lot of this around July 4th, a celebration of Independence Day. Parents are likely to run into situations where they are drinking in front of their children or teens but what is the best way to handle this and communicate to your children? Mine are only 14 months, three and six. I won't have the conversation for a while. This is a good article to help navigate parents.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Boy Found in the Snow

This is a very sad and tragic story. Boy meets friends. Boy drinks with friends. He is 15 years old and somehow when friends drop him off at home, they say he goes in but father finds him off in snow and woods next morning nearly dead. Eventually, he dies. 15 years old...a rite of passage some say. Another reason providing alcohol to teens must stop.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Is parenting like a vacation in that he first part you are trying to relax and figure everything out but by that time it's over? (generally speaking) Or, is it like the old adage, life is what happens when you are making plans for it?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
keeping your eyes on the road more important than ever before....what are your distractions in the car?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

life gives you lemons, make lemonade...or in this instance make poor choices and buy the lemonade

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

why do parents drive drunk? how do parents deal with their stress?