Be a Role Model

What You Say and Do Matters

Again and again research reveals that young people are influenced by their parents and teachers. The bottom-line is obvious: we all need to be positive role models for the kids and young people in our lives.

  • Youth are three times less likely to binge drink if a parent feels it’s wrong.
  • Youth who have clear family rules are 1.7 times less likely to use marijuana.
  • Youth who agree that teachers care and encourage them are also 1.7 times less likely to use marijuana.
  • Coaches: High school and middle school students who participate in extracurricular activities are 1.5 times less likely to misuse prescription drugs.
  • Parents and teachers can role-play how to say no and help them understand why they should say no. (Staying on varsity, wanting to get good grades, etc.)

How to be a Good Role Model

Perhaps the hardest thing about being an adult is being a good role model for your kids. Despite the difficulty, it’s important to limit your intake of alcohol or marijuana in front of your children. Emphasizing your choice to use a designated driver, Uber or a taxi, or public transportation when you know you will be drinking or using marijuana is very important. Discussing how you’ve learned the significance of choosing your friends carefully is impactful. Initiating a role-playing session where you invite your teen to ask you about your use of alcohol or marijuana (tough, we know) is a good idea. It's important to get the conversation going and keep it going. It's not easy, but definitely worth the effort!