Be A Jerk

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How can I be a jerk?

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Posted on March 31, 2011
Tagged in Parenting

Wanna be a jerk and help prevent kids from drinking alcohol. Here are a few tips on getting started.

I want to do something in my neighborhood. Where do I start?
A: Whether you're by yourself or you're part of a community group, there are lots of actions you can take to reduce underage drinking in your neighborhood. For more information, please visit the Resources section.

My kid doesn't listen to me. Does it matter if I say no or not?
A: You may not realize it, but your kids are listening to you. Since most teens in Hawai‘i don't drink1 and the number one reason they give for not drinking is they don't want to disappoint you,2 what you say and do are the most important factors in keeping your kids safe from alcohol.

I drink. How can I tell them not to when it's something I do?
A: If you choose to drink, it's important for your children to understand that this is your choice as an adult. However, from the dangers of teen drinking to the differences in adult and young people's biology, there are real reasons why you don't want them as minors to drink.

What are some of the things I can do to stop my kid from drinking?
A: Some things that have proven to be helpful in protecting youth from underage drinking don't seem to be directly correlated. The top protective factor is regular family time together.3 While this is difficult with people working long hours and teens having a lot going on at school and with friends, the message that time together as people who care for one another is invaluable. Another protective factor is reasonable supervision, knowing where your kids are, who they're with, and checking with other parents/guardians so that your kids know you care about them and what they do. Additionally, setting clearly defined limits while allowing the freedom to make both decisions and mistakes help youth practice good decision making.

Is it okay for adults to drink in front of children?
A: If you've made the decision that alcohol is permissible for adults, it is reasonable to be able to drink in front of young people in a responsible way. But, what is responsible? If the adult drinks in a way that shows "I know alcohol can have an influence over my behavior and that I respect myself enough not to drink to that point," it sends the correct message to youth that alcohol can be an acceptable part of adult life.

I sell alcohol at my store. What are some ways I can discourage adults from buying alcohol for minors?
For more information, please visit the Resources section.

1QMark Research, Hawai‘i Statewide Survey on Underage Drinking
2Monitoring the Future Survey
3Journal of Studies on Alcohol