Alcohol 9-14

Talk Early, Talk Often - Alcohol

Talking With Your Children About Alcohol

9-11 Year Olds

  • Explain the harmful effects of alcohol on a developing mind and body. For example, alcohol is a powerful drug that slows down the body and mind. It impairs coordination, slows reaction time, and impairs vision, clear thinking, and judgment.
  • Act out scenes with your child where people offer them alcohol. Let them know that they can always use you as the excuse, “No, my mom (dad, grandma, etc.) will kill me if I drink.”
  • Set clear rules and expectations about alcohol, and how you will enforce the consequences if the rules are broken as drinking alcohol is harmful and unhealthy for them.
  • Tell your child what makes them so special and why you want them to be healthy and safe.

12-14 Year Olds

  • Make sure your teen knows your rules and expectations about alcohol, and that you will enforce the consequences if the rule is broken, as drinking alcohol is harmful and unhealthy for him/her.
  • Ask your teen about their beliefs about alcohol and take the opportunity to dispel myths and share facts. For example, teens who drink are more likely to have problems with school work and school conduct. 
  • Get to know your teen’s friends and their families. Ask your teen about any new friends and find out what they like to do. Monitor where they go with friends. Express your concerns about friends that may not be the best influence.
  • Discuss your teen’s daily ups and downs.
  • Develop a plan so your child knows how to leave from a situation that is uncomfortable or dangerous.  

Information adapted from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
©2017 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
Used with permission. Visit drugfree.org.
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