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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Palm trees flower in the quad. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Tips for Talking to Your Student About Alcohol

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You are the expert when it comes to your child. Even so, communicating your healthy norms and expectations when it comes to alcohol use may feel challenging. We have created this page to help you strategize about the best ways to talk to your student about alcohol. 

2023-24 Neighborhood Decorative Accent Line


2023-24 Neighborhood Decorative Accent Line

Five Tips

Here are five tips for a productive, meaningful, conversation with your student before they arrive at Stanford: 

  1. Communicate the "why". Why is this important to you, and where does it fit into your hopes for your child's college experience? Whether it be your values, beliefs, personal experiences etc., connect the topic of substance use to other conversations you have had with your child about transitioning into college life.
  2. Discuss your family history with substance use. It is important for students to know if there is a history of alcohol misuse or other substance misuse in the family so they can create a plan and access on campus resources accordingly. 
  3. Set clear expectations. Studies show that parents have a significant impact on their child's drinking behaviors in college. 
  4. Know relevant policies and laws and discuss them with your student. 
  5. Familiarize yourself and your student with campus resources including substance free social activities.