Vol 3.2 May 2016

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Growing Up, Graduation, and Going Away

At ParentUp, we want to walk alongside you as you help your kids transition from the end of the school year to summer, from one school to the next, or from high school to graduation and college.

Healthy things grow.

Growing things change.

Changing things challenge.

Challenge results in risk.

Risk requires trust and discipline.

Discipline brings health

In order to be healthy, change requires our kids to make choices in the middle of challenge. When faced with challenges, kids, and adults too, will shy away, try to avoid, or medicate the challenge with a distraction or substance. The strongest of us, will engage the challenge, risking discomfort and overcoming fear, to grow and develop. To take a risk, your child needs trust in the love and support they have from you and discipline to make good decisions.

Never underestimate the power of your presence and the validity of your voice as your kids grow and go. Conversations and shared experiences you give them now will stay with them through their next challenge. They will remember your voice when they go to college out of state, or attend a sleepover in the neighborhood. When they know you care, they'll listen to what you share.

Happy Graduation Season. We celebrate and wish you and yours health and happiness.

-The Parent Up Team

The Summer Season- Setting a Firm Stance

When kids and adults gather during the summer, alcohol is often on tap.

Remind your kids now, and throughout the summer of the dangers of consuming alcohol when one is underage.

Lots of little talks are more effective than one “big talk.”

  • Sitting down for the “big talk” about alcohol can be intimidating for both you and your child.
  • Try using everyday opportunities to talk—in the car, during dinner, or while you and your child are watching TV.
  • Having lots of little talks means your child will be less likely to tune you out.

Not motivated to chat with your child about alcohol? Let these stats spur you on:

  • Every day in the United States, more than 4,750 kids under age 16 have their first full drink of alcohol.
  • Underage drinking accounts for 11% of all the alcohol consumed in the United States.
  • Youth who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse in their lifetimes than those who begin drinking at age 21 years or later.

You can do this!! Here's a few resources to get you started. Find more at

Tips for Talking with College-Bound Students

Contract for An Alcohol Free Night Out- create one with your student now for the graduation party season and summer nights.

Consequences for College Students

For the greatest impact, conversations around alcohol use should be focused on caring, trust, and respect, avoiding the use of ultimatums, lectures, and threats.

Zero-tolerance messages appear to be most effective in preventing alcohol use and related consequences, even if a young person is already using alcohol. Describe your expectations for your young adult’s behavior while at college and ask them about their goals as well.

  • Start with your child/student. What do they think are some of the consequences or risks of underage drinking?
  • If they don't list them all, discuss the dangers to their:

  1. Academics- alcohol use correlates to missed classes and lower grades
  2. Health- death, injury, or dependence and addiction are risks to kids who drink or use
  3. Safety- the inhibited mental capacity of one under the influence means alcohol use often plays a role in sexual or other physical assaults and drunk driving auto accidents.
  4. Criminal Record-in 2015, 110,000 college students were arrested for alcohol abuse.

  • Remind your kids of their success in getting to college.
  • Remind them of their still developing brain and the hope you have for their health.
  • Encourage them to build a positive group of friends at college who will support their decision not to drink.
  • Brainstorm with them about other ways to have fun in college.
  • Have a current substance free college student take your graduate out to lunch to talk about the challenges ahead and ways to stick to their substance-free intention.

Watch this Video for Information on Conversations with your College Bound Kid

The Sound of Your Voice
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