›› How to Discuss Alcohol with your Child

Kids need preparation and education in order to deal with new pressures and social situations. It is up to us as parents to help them develope the ability to make responsible decisions.

  1. Educate yourself. Arm yourself with facts before discussing alcohol with your children.
  2. Tailor your approach and selection of information to your child's age and development.
  3. Begin sooner rather than later. It is common to see kids as young as 11 or 12 using alcohol.
  4. Schedule at time without interruption and initiate the discussion with your child.
  5. Define your ‘family rules’ about taking drugs or drinking alcohol and give the reasons for them.
  6. Provide a safe space where your child can communicate anything to you. If you suspect he has a problem with drugs or alcohol, get professional help immediately but avoid a judgmental or punitive reaction.
  7. Listen attentively.
  8. Role play how to handle peer pressure to drink or do drugs.
  9. Be straight with your child and set a good example.
  10. Discuss alcohol again periodically to show your concern and to open the door to their feelings and difficulties.