Need some help figuring out how to talk to your child about underage drinking? Wondering how the conversation will play out?
Start the Talk, is a new interactive online tool that helps parents practice tough conversations about underage drinking with their kids in a videogame-like environment.
It is part of the Talk. They Hear You. campaign launched last spring from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which gives parents and caregivers information and tools to start talking to children — as early as 9 years old — about the dangers of alcohol. Research has shown that children start to think differently about alcohol between the ages of 9 and 13, and many children begin to think underage drinking is OK.
The interactive tool lets you role play a 10 to 15 minute conversation between a parent and teen. Parents can practice bringing up the topic of alcohol, learn what questions to ask, get an idea of how a teen might feel during a conversation about drinking, and equip the teen with skills to get out of situations where others are drinking. To make it more realistic, the parent also has to compete with the teen getting text messages during the conversation.