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Tips for Talking to Your Student About Alcohol

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. 

Click here for our full Parent/Guardian Guide to help you get the most out of your conversation about alcohol with your college student.

If you are willing to give us feedback on the Parent/Guardian Guide linked above, please click here to fill out an anonymous feedback form


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.