Parents and Family
U Choose - St. Cloud State University

Parents & Family

Many parents are concerned about underage drinking, particularly when they see the statistics regarding alcohol-related accidents and reports of binge drinking among young people. One of our goals is to remind parents of the important role they play in helping tweens, teens and college students make smart decisions about the use of alcohol. In fact, three of out four teens say their parents, not their friends, are their biggest influence when making decisions about alcohol.

For many parents, bringing up the topic of alcohol is no easy matter. Your teen may try to dodge the discussion, and you may feel unsure of how to proceed. To make the most of your conversation, here are some tips:

  • Take some time to think about the issues and what you want to say before initiating the discussion.
  • Consider how your teen might react and ways you might respond to their questions or concerns.
  • Choose a time to talk when both you and your teen have some "down time" and are feeling relaxed.
  • Talk about these difficult issues in ways that show caring, trust and respect.
  • Remember that you don't need to cover everything at once. Many small talks are better than one big talk.

A Parent Handbook* for Talking to Their College Student About Alcohol

Research over the past decade shows that parents can play a powerful role in minimizing their teens' drinking during college when they talk to their teens about alcohol before they enter college. A handbook specifically for parents has been developed to help facilitate these conversations.

*Handbook created by Dr. Robert Turrisi, Ph. D, Penn State University

Email us and receive your copy of the handbook.

Resources for Parents of College Students (or almost college students):

A plethora of helpful resources for parents is located on the St. Cloud Community Alliance website:

We value your input in creating a welcoming place for your student, as well as providing parents and support people information and tools to engage in conversation with their student. If you have feedback on how to better reach you, or tools you may need to support your student make informed choices around alcohol and alcohol use, please email