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You are probably the most important person to impact your student as he or she makes decisions in college and throughout life. Your son or daughter trusts you and relies on you for a great deal of health information. Talking to your college student about important topics and communicating your expectations may help him/her to make healthy choices.

It’s important to talk to your children, especially about difficult issues.

For example… In one study, adolescents who talked with their mothers about a variety of sex-related topics were less likely to have been sexually active compared to adolescents who did not talk with their mothers as much. Another study which looked at family influences on adolescent pregnancy showed that young people who are close to their parents and feel supported by them are more likely to abstain from sex, wait until they are older before having sex for the first time, have fewer sexual partners, and use contraception more consistently.

It’s important to set expectations for your children.

For example… One study found that when parents expressed their disapproval of alcohol use, their children were less likely to drink and spent less time with friends who drank alcohol. In a national report analyzing trends in teen behavior and the role of parents’ involvement in their teenager’s lives, longitudinal data showed that parental involvement is a major influence in helping teens avoid risks while increasing educational achievement and expected attainment of goals.

Be a resource.

You can talk to your students and be a positive influence on their decision making. The studies highlighted above are just a few of many that show how important parents really are. So, are you ready to talk to your son or daughter about health topics and the choices they make? This section will help you to share conversation with your student about sexual decision making and personal safety.

Last Updated: 1/9/11