How Can I Help Prevent It? / Spread the Word & Make Connections

Spread the Word & Make Connections

Don’t worry—you are not the only parent in Vermont who has concerns about underage drinking, substance abuse, and other issues that teens today face. It is important for you to get to know the parents of your child’s friends so you can work together to keep all of your children safe.

Know the rules and expectations other parents put on their children, and share yours with them. Be clear that you are against underage drinking and drug use, that you will not give alcohol or drugs to other people’s children, and that you will not tolerate anyone giving them to yours.

Tips From Parents Like You: Meet the Parents

 
Vermont parents are not alone when it comes to helping their kids navigate issues and challenges around drug and alcohol use. Reaching out to the parents of your kids will open the door to helpful relationships with other parents.
 

There are many easy ways to start a conversation with other parents about drinking or drug use. Here are some tips that will get the conversation going.

 

There are many ways for you to get to know other parents:

  • Make contact during school activities, such as sports events, concerts, parent nights, and drop-offs and pickups.
  • Introduce yourself. Find out what you have in common, discuss the friendship your two children have with each other and make a point to touch base from time to time.
  • Ask your children to introduce you to the parents of their friends.
  • When dropping your child off at a friend’s home, go to the door and introduce yourself.
  • Call parents who are hosting an event and ask if you can contribute by bringing food.

Visit our community coalitions and resources page to contact your local coalition and get access to materials for parents, schools, hospital community education departments, and other community organizations.1


A discussion about issues like underage drinking or substance abuse with other parents can start in a number of ways:

  • Casually mention in a conversation that underage drinking and/or drug use is one of the problems you worry about.
  • Bring up an article, TV show, or commercial you recently saw about underage drinking, drug use, or a related incident and ask their opinion.2
  • Share a website,  article, video, or infographic that you found particularly compelling or helpful via e-mail or social media to start a virtual conversation.

Here are some ways you can bring up the conversation of underage drinking with other parents:

  • “Do you mind if I check in with you from time to time about our kids?”
  • “I found out my child was drinking and I was wondering if your child may have been drinking, too. I wanted to say something because I would want to know if things were reversed.”
  • “I’m worried that our kids may already be drinking. What can we do?”
  • “I think my teen may be drinking, but it’s just a feeling, I don’t have any proof. Have you ever caught or heard about your teen drinking?”
  • “I caught my teen drinking and I’m looking for some help. Have you ever dealt with this? What did you do?”3

One of the most important ways you and your fellow parents can monitor your teens is to get familiar with the many warning signs—some obvious and some much more subtle—that may indicate there’s a problem.