Communication Tips

Student on phone
Communication Tips

Research shows that as parents understand the characteristics of the drinking scene young adults will be exposed to and talk with them about healthy ways to safely navigate that scene, parents can have a profound influence on their student’s decisions. If conversations do not go well, then the relationship may need to be strengthened and different communication skills attempted.

Watch these videos to find out some students' choices related to alcohol and possible parental impact.


The effectiveness of your communication about alcohol is reflective of the relationship you have with your student. Is there a pattern of open communication in your relationship? Have you discussed difficult issues with them (i.e. sex, drugs, friends, and especially alcohol use)?


Successful conversations must be intentionally focused on risky drinking behaviors. Not all drinking is the same. Parents help prevent high-risk drinking when they talk directly and openly about alcohol use and their expectations for their student's behavior at the university.


Accurate information about the current drinking scene at Nebraska is vital to help parents’ credibility when talking to their students about alcohol. If students know their parents are informed, they’re more likely to take what parents say seriously and talk honestly about drinking.

First-Year College Alcohol Profile

The First-Year College Alcohol Profile (CAP) is a way for the university to educate new students about the choices, risks, and consequences of drinking during college. We want you to know the strategies your student will be taught so you can add to them, as well as reinforce the ones you feel are important for your student.

The CAP tailors information to the situations students will experience. You as the parent know your student better than anyone else. You can take these strategies and adapt them specifically for your student, making the teaching more personal than we ever could as they enter the university.

Talk to your student about their participation in the CAP. A study of the 2011 and 2012 students who completed the CAP showed significantly higher odds of retention than those who did not. Also, those who completed the CAP were less likely to experience campus judicial sanctions and community law violations than those who did not complete the program.