NDSU Fights Youth Drinking Trend
Event educated adults on influences they have on kids
Published: Monday, February 3, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 3, 2014 09:02
Alcohol abuse may be a concern for college students, but an NDSU Live Real Mentor Session shined the spotlight on parents and their teenage children.
“The session was focused on how caring adults…can interact with youth in order to decrease the likelihood that those youths will use substances like alcohol or other drugs,” Erika Beseler-Thompson, the assistant director of the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Program at NDSU, said.
Attendees listened to NDSU’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Kent Sandstrom and 4-H Youth Development Specialist Sharon Query talk about the influence adults have on children and substance use.
Beseler-Thompson said these sessions are important, because they are equipping students and faculty with tools to help prevent substance use among youth.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the average age of trying alcohol is 11 years old for boys and 13 for girls. North Dakota is also a state with higher alcohol use on a national level. Last month, Fargo was named America’s drunkest city by the Centers for Disease Control.
This was the first parent-focused session of the Live Real Mentor series the school hosts.
“The biggest take home for me is was it covered parenting styles,” Director of Student Success Programs Casey Peterson said. “It gave me time to reflect on how I handle my own kids.”
Peterson has two young kids but said the session taught him that his parenting style and his attitude toward alcohol could have a major impact in his children’s lives.
The speakers also engaged the audience and allowed them to share their experiences with the group of about 25.
There will be more Live Real Mentor sessions this semester including one on marijuana on March 27 and another on alcohol and sexual violence on April 1.
Advice for Parents
-Avoid messages designed to evoke shame or guilt
-Try not to act out of anger or fear
-Avoid the “four cardinal sins” of parenting: nagging, arguing, insight transplants,
and spontaneous problem discussions
-Ask what your son or daughter thinks
-Seek to be a consultant rather than a director