Why Should You Talk to Your Child About Alcohol?
The Chance That Children Will Use Alcohol Increases as They Get Older
About 10 percent of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol, but by age 15, that number jumps to 50 percent. The sooner you talk to your children about alcohol, the greater the chance you have of influencing their decisions about drinking.
Parents Play a Critical Role in Children’s Decisions to Experiment With Alcohol.
Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol consumption, especially when parents create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions. In fact, more than 80 percent of children say parents are the leading influence in their decision to drink or not.
The Conversation Is Often More Effective Before Children Start Drinking.
If you talk to your kids directly and honestly, they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about alcohol use. When parents know about underage alcohol use, they can protect their children from many of the high-risk behaviors associated with it.
Some Children May Try Alcohol as Early as 9 Years Old.
Most 6-year-olds know that alcohol is only for adults. Between the ages of 9 and 13, children start to view alcohol more positively. Many children begin to think underage drinking is OK. Some even start to experiment. It is never too early to talk to your children about alcohol.
If You Do Not Talk About It, You Are Still Saying Something.
What you say to your children about alcohol is up to you. But remember parents who do not discourage underage drinking may have an indirect influence on their children’s alcohol use.
Answering your child questions about alcohol can be tough.
Download the app “Talk. They hear you.” to learn how to have this conversation with your child.
Research shows that if teens hear a “don’t use” message from their parents, they are 42 percent less likely to try alcohol and other drugs.
Underage Drinking Reduction
Alcohol remains the #1 drug of choice for those under 21 years.
So what can we do?
Planting the Seeds:
From tiny acorns mighty oak trees grow… When teenagers know what the family rules are (planting the seeds), they are less likely to abuse alcohol. Parents and adults should talk early and often to kids about why it’s important to not drink alcohol. Between the ages of 9 and 13, children start to think differently about alcohol. Many children begin to think underage drinking is OK and some even start to experiment. It’s never too early to talk to your children about alcohol, and encourage them to talk with you.
Over 70% of children say parents are the leading influence in their decision to drink or not. Website with tips and resources: http://underagedrinking.samhsa.gov.