14 Mar How To Talk To Kids About Alcohol In Different Ages
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, parental disapproval is the number one reason kids don’t drink. So talk to your kids about alcohol, and talk to them early on. It is important that they know from a young age that it is harmful.
Parents are the most important influence on their children. Just because you think your kid doesn’t listen to you doesn’t make it true. Kids whose parents tell them all about the risks of alcohol are way less likely to partake when they’re older.
They have to know about the dangers to associate them with it. You’ll want to revisit the conversation every now and again to remind them. This is because other kids and popular culture might be saying otherwise. But your kid trusts you to know what’s right.
Talk About It
You need to be willing to actually talk about these topics with your kids. It can feel easier to just say it is illegal for kids to drink, or that they just shouldn’t do it. We all know that isn’t enough. Kids hate when parents give blanket statements.
Know About It
Instead, know what you’re talking about. Know exactly how harmful alcohol can be to a kid, and explain that to them. Let them know that their brains and bodies are still growing until they’re young adults. Alcohol can harm that growth and stunt it.
Know that it can also lead to depression and other issues. Kids who drink alcohol are more likely to be reckless or commit a crime. Once you’re educated on these factors, make sure you talk about them with your kids.
It’s important to not make it feel like a lecture. Kids already hear lectures at school. It needs to be a conversation, not a list of warnings. Kids will tune that out, just like they tune out the instructions for their chores.
Instead, when something happens in your community or makes national news, talk about it. If a teen dies in a drunk driving accident, explain to your kid that is why teenagers shouldn’t drink. You can talk about it and put in a little information about how they were just too young to be able to handle it. That’s why it’s illegal.
If your kid wants to know why adults drink, since they drive too, explain properly. Don’t dance around their questions afraid they won’t understand. It’s important to treat them like people who deserve thoughtful answers.
Tell them no one should ever drink and drive. Also, let them know that some adults can’t handle alcohol either. If a grown-up can’t handle drinking, then kids definitely should not.
Don’t demonize drinking, because that always makes a teen want to try it. Rebellion is a natural stage for teenagers, but you can help by not outlawing anything. Drinking is normal in our society. Just make sure to remind them the drinking age is 21 for a reason.
Let your kid know that you don’t recommend drinking when they turn 21, but that will be their choice. Remind them that it is harmful to kids to drink. It hurts their bodies and brains.
It’s important to make good decisions, especially when you’re young. This can help shape who you are as an adult. It’s easy to just assume your kids know that, but they don’t. They don’t really have the reasoning abilities yet.
Let Them Know
Make sure you tell your kids that alcohol can force you to make bad decisions. Decisions you may regret. You might not just hurt yourself, but someone else. That would be terrible.
Make sure you always present the dangers of drinking. Don’t hide it under the table. Kids need to understand why they shouldn’t drink alcohol. It’s too easy to say it’s bad and leave it at that. Then kids just think it’s another one of those rules they can ignore. That adults just want the fun stuff for them.
That isn’t the case. Kids who drink alcohol young are more likely to abuse it when they’re older. It is an addictive substance and can change their entire life.
All you have to do is care, and let your kid know. That way they can make informed decisions because you educated them.