Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hands off Our Holidays :: The Super Bowl, Alcohol and Your Child

Of the hundred-million viewers who will tune in to the Super Bowl this February, an estimated twenty percent of those viewers will be youth under the age of twenty-one. If your child is one of the young people watching the Super Bowl, he or she will undoubtedly be exposed to alcohol advertising. Each year, members of the alcohol industry are among the various companies around the globe who spend millions of dollars on advertising during this widely viewed event, often purchasing more ad space than any other company.

Since alcohol is the leading drug problem among youth today, with nearly 8,000 youths drinking alcohol for the first time each day, and research has shown that kids who are frequently exposed to alcohol advertising are twice as likely to drink than children with low exposure to such marketing, the Drug-Free Coalition of Tippecanoe County would like to encourage you to take advantage of this time as an opportunity to spend time talking to your kids about the dangers of alcohol use. Try these talking points to get the conversation going:
  • Start by discussing the facts and fiction of advertising in general. How do ads sometimes send false messages? What messages do commercials send us about alcohol use? What messages do commercials NOT tell us about alcohol use? Remind your child that ads don’t show them everything that can happen when people drink.
  • Talk with your kids about good reasons not to drink.
  • Brainstorm ideas for how to handle peer pressure.
  • If your family hasn’t discussed policies and expectations for staying alcohol-free, use this time to do so.
  • Be clear and consistent about the policies your family decides upon.
  • Don’t forget to listen to what your child has to say. A listening ear is a valuable tool for keeping kids safe and healthy.

Research compliments of The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. For more information, visit For further suggestions on talking to your kids about alcohol, visit The Face Project.

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