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Fall Into Responsibility 🍂

Welcome fall! Football is on TV, leaves are on the ground, there’s a crispness in the air, and holiday decorations are on the store shelves. It’s officially fall, and at Responsibility.org, it’s a great time to focus on the aspects of responsibility that define our mission and values that resonate as the year comes to an end.

There are parties to attend, fall and winter sports to watch, play, and drive the kids to, schedules to balance, visits from family and friends, and so much more. 

If you are a parent or caregiver, we want to encourage you to talk with your kids about saying “NO” to underage drinking.

If you are going out with friends, family, or colleagues, we want you to make plans ahead of time to get home safely and not drive drunk.

And if you choose to drink, we want you to do so responsibly as part of a balanced lifestyle.

Join us as we FALL INTO RESPONSIBILITY and take a look at some of the expert advice and resources we have gathered and created to last you through the autumn and into those winter months.

On Responsibility

For parents and caregivers, raising kids is an ever-changing adventure. It doesn’t get easier as the kids grow up, it gets…different. Our On Responsibility videos help parents navigate the rollercoaster of raising kids, teens, and young adults with advice from experts on mental health, the developing brain, mindfulness, and leadership. Our two newest additions to the series touch on preparing teens for the transition from high school to college and what should happen now at home to help that transition be a success.

We loved getting the chance to speak with Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Tiffany Jones as well as Dr. Patrick Kilcarr, Director of the Center for Personal Development at Georgetown University, who are in close contact with students on a daily basis during this transitional time.

Some of the highlights from Tiffany and Patrick include:

  • Parents should be mindful and not assume that a change in behavior should be attributed to something minor.
  • Talk to kids as if they are becoming adults; each stage of development is a preparatory period for the next.
  • Students need to have some built-in resiliency so that they can learn their best ways of coping with life on life’s terms.
  • New students becoming independent for the first time are asking themselves “What are other people doing?  Should be doing that too? Finding a rhythm that works for them takes time.
  • Students go from having overpacked schedules in high school to having a 15 hour-a-week commitment. Figuring out how they spend their time is one of the greatest adjustments.
  • Great parenting is asking great questions.

We hope these bits of advice will support parents as they help their kids’ build a foundation for making good choices regarding alcohol in the future, whether that means saying “NO” to underage drinking or drinking responsibly once they turn 21. These videos go hand-in-hand with our Parents, You’re Not Done Yet resource, which guide parents through their kids’ transitions to independence by sharing facts and statistics about higher versus lower risk drinking, as well as college binge drinking, and much more.

Responsibility Starts with Me

Empowering young people to make good choices helps them to build leadership skills. For the student athletes at the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, that starts on the field. This past summer, young women from around the world gathered together—not only to play soccer, lacrosse, and basketball, but also to learn more about what it means to be a leader both on and off the field. Led by Julie Foudy, former Captain of the US Women's National Soccer Team, the young women at the camp took some time to  share their ideas about what it means to be a leader and why they say “NO” to underage drinking, which can hinder not only their performance, but also the success of their teammates who rely on them.

Be a Responsible Tailgater

Responsibility.org Executive Director and board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Ben Nordstrom recently penned an opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch urging adults to model responsible behavior at gameday tailgates.

Many associate tailgating with the stereotypical antics of rowdy college kids. While it’s true tailgating is a treasured tradition, students aren’t the only participants. It’s not unusual for alumni, friends, and families to attend.

What should be unusual is seeing adults becoming the stereotype by drinking irresponsibly. According to one study, adults who reported tailgating before sporting events were 14 times more likely to have a blood alcohol concentration over .08 — the legal limit for driving.

Instead of drinking irresponsibly around students, adults should model responsible behavior by making smart alcohol choices and planning safe rides home.

The good news is most college students are making good decisions. According to Monitoring the Future, college binge drinking is at all-time lows — in fact, the vast majority of college students don’t binge drink.

Read the full opinion piece here.

So grab your rake, pumpkin spice latte, and warm socks, and FALL INTO RESPONSIBILITY with us this autumn. It will be winter before we know it…

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