As regular readers of my blogs will know, I have two normal teenagers growing up in my house and we have always been open in talking about all the “Big Issues” of sex and drugs to rock and roll and that includes alcohol – its dangers and its misuse. In fact that’s why I wrote my “Navigating the Choppy Waters – The Blueprint for Parents of Teenagers” CDs and Workbooks to help parents address the often challenging and turbulent years of parenting in the teenage zone.
It can be full of angst, anger and ups and downs – but it needn’t be if you are confident, flexible and open minded and committed to building bridges not walls between your kids.
Alcohol is a big part of our society and it’s very likely that your child is going to try it. It might happen with your family present, or it might happen at a party with friends. It may be that your child has already tried alcohol, has drunk too much or is misusing it.
The important thing is that it’s never too early or too late to talk to teenagers about alcohol.
You are the most important influence to your child and what you say and do will have a major effect on their relationship with alcohol. In fact, three quarters of 11-15 year-olds say they would prefer to get information about alcohol from their parents.
So don’t put your head in the sand, be embarrassed or shy to pass on your values, stories and advice to your kids. They need your guidance, support and advice regardless of what they say or what their mates do.
It’s obvious alcohol can also lead young people to make bad decisions.
For a really great website on all things related to alcohol go to => Why let drink decide? Where you can learn, talk and dscover all about how to discuss booze with your kids.
Although the government and school system play a key role in educating your children on the risks associated with alcohol, the most effective way you can educate them is through face to face conversations before they start experimenting.
By talking to your child you can help them better understand the risks associated with alcohol, this will arm them with the knowledge they need to make more informed decisions. So when they do choose to drink they’re fully aware of the potential consequences and can stay safe.
However, timing is important. Most parents start talking to their children a year after the child has already started drinking. Don’t leave it too late. An ideal time to talk is when your child is moving to secondary school. But the earlier you start talking, the better.
For help starting the conversation, go to Thinkers v Drinkers, the interactive video game created especially for kids. Click here for Thinkers V Drinkers