Past month underage alcohol consumption in the United States has decreased by 53% in the past 20 years, and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is celebrating the efforts of parents, caregivers, educators and communities to keep kids alcohol-free. New survey data released by the organization also notes that conversations between caregivers and their children have increased 31% during this time, showing that these interactions are working.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Ask, Listen, Learn, a free, digital underage drinking prevention program developed by Responsibility.org that features resources and materials that educate kids about the impact of alcohol and cannabis on their developing brains to help them make healthy, informed decisions.
The Ask, Listen, Learn program is aimed at kids aged 9-13 years old and is designed to empower them to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking. It also highlights the importance of goal setting, decision making, and modeling responsible behaviors as keys to staying substance-free.
“Kids really are listening and watching adults,” says Leslie Kimball, executive director at Responsibility.org. “As parents, it’s important that we continue building healthy relationships with our children, as we’re vital to keeping them alcohol-free and modeling mindful, balanced behaviors.”
A new study released by Responsibility.org in March 2023 confirms that kids are listening when their guardians are talking. Approximately one-third (33%) of children surveyed identified their parents as the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink alcohol, followed by best friends (25%), and social media (17%).
Parents in general have boosted their communication skills with kids, and vice versa. For example, 95% of parents or caregivers in the 2023 survey reported having spoken to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking at least once in the past year, and 90% of kids reported the same.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Ask, Listen, Learn, Responsibility.org is launching a campaign, #Take20WithKids, that encourages adults to “take 20” minutes, seconds, or even deep breaths to connect, reflect upon, and discuss the risks associated with underage drinking, to model responsible behavior, or to take action on a goal.
Responsibility.org’s programs have helped families and educators guide youth towards a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The organization’s website and active social media channels provide adults with digestible information at their fingertips to spark discussions about refraining from drinking alcohol underage as well as the effects of underage cannabis use.
For more information on the Ask, Listen, Learn program and #Take20WithKids, visit www.asklistenlearn.org.