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Sobering duty for parents

Page 2 of 2 -- She said children who drink also are more likely to become alcohol-dependent as adults.

While the surveys highlighted a problem among children 11 to 13, Revere CARES decided to target parents of children 9 to 13 because ''we want to get to parents before kids start drinking," Bowman said.

The first part of the campaign sought to encourage parents, through banners and newspaper ads, to ask their children the ''who, what, where, and when" questions related to their activities.

A promise to ask those questions is included in the pledge. But the pledge goes further to state that parents will regularly spend time and have fun with their children; talk with them about their day and concerns; and talk to them about the consequences of using tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

In addition, the parents pledge to talk to other parents about underage drinking; involve their children in structured activities; know their children's friends and their families; and let their children know they can come to them with any question. They also pledge not to abuse alcohol or to allow alcohol abuse or underage drinking in their home.

School Committee member Carol Tye, a member of Revere CARES and a former Revere superintendent, is thrilled with Dakin's involvement, which she said is a statement of his and the committee's support for Revere CARES and the initiative.

The message to parents is that ''You are the best line of defense with your kids in terms of protecting them against underage drinking, despite the way they may act," said Diane Barry of Education Development Center, a Newton nonprofit that is serving as a consultant to Revere CARES on the campaign.

One goal of the campaign is to ease the sense of isolation some parents feel. Parents who do not talk regularly with other parents, Bowman said, often let their children do something -- such as attend a party -- based on the incorrect assumption that other parents are doing the same.

As part of the pledge campaign, Revere CARES plans to print ads listing parents who have signed the pledge and consented to having their names published.

Mary Ann Zizzo, a Revere CARES volunteer and parent of two, said a goal of the campaign is that by the time a child reaches the ''upper adolescent ages," the activities discussed in the pledge will have become ingrained in the household.

''If we can get all parents on the same page to use the pledge, kids will be so accustomed to it will be like an everyday occurrence," she said. 

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