The best way to talk with your children about underage drinking

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Shaneeka Moore-Lawrence is not only a principal at a Durham elementary school, but she's also the mom to a teenage son.

She and her 14-year-old have been talking about underage drinking for four years now.

"It's not the conversation where you wake up in the morning and say 'you know, I'm going to have it today,'" said Moore-Lawrence.

In those four years since their first conversation, the dialogue has grown. Moore-Lawrence laid the groundwork early so now, difficult conversations come much easier.

"... and (the conversations are) not just about underage drinking, but life decisions in general," she said.

Dr. Wanda Boone is an ambassador with Talk It Out NC, an organization that focuses on encouraging parents to talk to their kids early and often about underage drinking.

According to Dr. Boone, of the high school students surveyed in the Triangle, as many as 25 percent said they've consumed alcohol within the last 30 days.

And students don't have to go far to find it.

"They're getting the alcohol from home," Dr. Boone said. "That's the number one place that children say they get alcohol."

Talk It Out NC said an effective way for parents to have the conversation is it talk with, not at, their child.

The organization also suggests using the 5 Ws:
-Where are you going?
-What will you be doing?
-Who are you going to be with?
-When will you be home?
-Will there be alcohol?
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.