As the father of three sons (22, 22, 17), I know that on many occasions, I definitely spoke loudly enough for my boys to hear me. My question, for many of the most urgent lessons of life, has been about whether or not they were really listening.
According to SAMHSA, it appears that they -- and many other young people -- do in fact pay heed to their parents' advice and feelings, though a recent SAMHSA survey shows that one in five parents don't believe that their opinion makes a difference in young peoples' use of substances or alcohol, and one in 10 parents doesn't even try to talk about the issue.
In fact, more detailed research shows that among kids who believe that their parents would strongly disapprove, the use of alcohol or other substances is just 1/3 to 1/2 the rate of young people who believe that their parents are unconcerned or ambivalent about the issue.
That's good news. So, Moms and Dads and those who do so much for our kids -- teachers, coaches, clergy, or others--keep those lines of communication open with young people. Speaking up often does make a difference.