Maintaining open communication lines between parents and children is of utmost importance, as it may affect the decisions that kids make later on. According to a study recently featured on ScienceDaily.com, this may even help them abstain from drinking.

Pennsylvania State University biobehavioral health professor Robert Turrisi, together with his colleagues, recruited 1,900 participants from a pool of incoming college freshmen, who were separated into four groups: nondrinkers, weekend light drinkers, weekend heavy drinkers, and heavy drinkers. A 22-page parent handbook developed by Turssi was then mailed to the parents of each participant, which included techniques on how to effectively communicate with their teenage children about resisting health temptations and peer pressure.

After reading the handbook, the parents talked with their kids one of three times, depending on when they were assigned to do so: during summer before college, during summer before college and during the fall semester of the first year of college, and during the fall semester of the first year of college.

The results showed that kids whose parents spoke with them about drinking before entering college were more likely to stay in the nondrinkers and the light drinkers group. Heavy drinkers, on the other hand, were more likely to become medium to light drinkers after a good conversation with their folks.

Parents play a powerful role in motivating children to live a healthy lifestyle. Although it’s close to impossible to have them say no to drinking, especially during college where experimentation and exploration are at their peak, having the chance to talk with them may ingrain the values and the knowledge they need to come out of it with only a couple of bottles. It may be hard to initiate parental intervention for some, but rest assured that it will always be worth it.

(Screencap from Revenge courtesy of ABC)

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