COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR STUDENT ABOUT ALCOHOL
College is an exciting milestone for both you and your student. It is a time of new experiences, a time of transition, and a time to stay connected. In the Jesuit spirit of “caring for the whole person,” SJU partners with parents to ensure students will make a positive transition to college. SJU takes an active role in education students about wellness issues and aims to empower parents to take an active role as well. Even if you have already spoken with your student about alcohol use throughout high school, it is a good idea to revisit the conversation. You may need to adjust your communication style as your student develops greater independence.
Your Role in Alcohol Education
Whether you believe it or not, you can have an even bigger influence on your student’s decision making around alcohol and drugs. Keep the lines of communication open; your student will be more likely to try to live up to your expectations if you set clear expectations regarding alcohol.
Studies have shown that family and peers alike can influence drinking behavior actively, by explicitly discouraging irresponsible behavior or passively, by role modeling positive drinking behavior (NIAAA, 1997).
Student who perceived higher parental monitoring during the summer before college were significantly less likely to transition to experiencing alcohol-related consequences (Walls, Fairlie & Wood, 2009)
Students who perceived their parents were more permissive about drinking during the students’ senior year of high school were significantly more likely to transition to weekly alcohol use, heavy episodic drinking and consequences during college (Walls, Fairlie & Wood, 2009)