One of the most important ways for your sons and daughters to stay safe is to develop assertiveness.

Whether it’s related to being assertive and standing firm in their plans for how to deal with being offered alcohol or in how much they’ll drink, assertiveness will help minimize the risks they’ll have.

College students often drink not because they have been pressured by their friends into drinking, but rather because they think everyone is doing it and that it’s an appropriate thing to do. Talk to your sons and daughters about how assertive they are now with their peers and how they can strengthen that assertiveness.

How to Stay Safe if Drinking

Situations where assertiveness is important.

  • People pressure your daughter to play some type of drinking game.
  • Your son is at an activity with friends. The host had not planned on serving alcohol, but someone else brought it.
  • Your daughter is pressured into driving while drunk or into getting in a car with someone who is drunk.
  • Your son is at a party, and people are pressuring him to drink more than he had planned or wanted.
  • With some roommates, your son goes to a party where they have alcohol. Your son is offered a drink. When he refuses, jokes are made about “needing to get used to college” or “needing to grow up”.
  • Someone visits, bringing alcohol to your son’s apartment.
  • The designated driver for the group doesn’t do his job and drinks at the party, but says he’s sober enough to drive. Your daughter feels pressure to ride with him.