Why join the Parents Connecting Network?
- Eau Claire County youth who drink tell us they get their alcohol from adults and drink most often at home or a friend's home.
- You can help stop this from happening by joining over 1,000 other families who have already made a commitment to not allow underage drinking in their homes or on their property. You are NOT alone!
- You will receive an annually updated Parent's Connecting Directory. The purpose of the Directory is to provide a way to easily connect with other parents in the Network and to gain encouragement and support from other families who are helping to prevent underage drinking.
- You will receive the monthly More Kids Drug Free e-mail newsletter (which you may opt out of at any time) containing the most current information on youth alcohol and other drug abuse issues, helping you to make informed decisions and talk to your kids with more confidence.
You can join this network by filling out and signing a Commitment Form. You can print the form and fill it out or follow the link on the form to the online sign-up.
How does membership work?
- Membership in the Parents Connecting Network is continuous throughout your child’s school career. You may opt out anytime via email or phone 715-839-5091.
- The annual Directory is sent to members each fall by e-mail unless you don't have an e-mail address and instead provide a mailing address.
- Changes in information may be submitted until September 15th using the original commitment form.
- The Parents Connecting Network Directory includes information for families across Eau Claire County.
- Directory information will only be shared with Directory participants.
Already a member? Congratulations!
As promised in your directory cover letter, here are some additional tips and resources...
You can keep a gathering in your home alcohol free by following these tips:
- Know who is invited; enforce a NO CRASHING policy.
- Plan to be home during the entire time and actively supervise.
- Make sure alcohol in your home is stored so teens can't get it. Lock it up if possible.
- Expect and encourage calls from parents and teens confirming the time, place, and plans.
- Assure parents and teens that there will be no use of alcohol by those under 21.
- Discuss with parents their expectations about their teen leaving the gathering and with whom.
- Keep in mind - teens who leave and return may be bringing back alcohol.
- Call parents if a teen arrives and is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Here are some tips if your teen is going to someone else's house:
- Call the parents to confirm that alcohol use will not be allowed.
- Make sure a parent will be home the entire time and actively supervising.
- Ask your teen how they will get to and from where they are going, and if needed, offer to provide a ride.
- Agree on the time your teen will be expected to be home before he/she leaves.
- Tell your teens to NEVER ride home with someone (including an adult) who has been drinking. Tell them to call you for a ride if needed.
- Know when your teen arrives home. Stay awake or ask them to wake you when they get home. If they are late, call the hosting parent to verify the time they left.
Talk with your teen:
- Tell your teen that you have joined Parents Connecting and discuss it with them. Explain that being connected with other parents is an important way for you to protect them.
- Have frequent short talks about what you expect from your teen and their decisions about alcohol.
- Actively state and enforce a clear, consistent message for all teens that there will be NO UNDERAGE USE of alcohol in your home.
- We point you to some wonderful online resources about how to go about the conversation on our Talk! They hear you! page.
Other steps you can take:
- Make sure alcohol in your own home is stored so teens cant get it. Lock it up if possible.
- Get to know your teen's friends and their parents.
- Connect with other parents who also do not allow those underage to drink. Parents working together can build a stronger safety net.
- Encourage other parents to join this effort. Getting more people involved will cut down on feelings of isolation.
- Seek out information about local parenting and other community services, "dial 2-1-1 to get help with life" or visit www.greatrivers211.org. Great Rivers 2-1-1 provides free, confidential community information, referrals and crisis line services 24 hours a day.