What Children Need to Know About Alcohol
In recent years, research has shown that approximately eighty percent of high school students have tried
The majority of kids try alcohol during their high school and college years. Although experimentation is common,
it is neither safe no legal.
It is important to begin talking to children about alcohol use
and abuse at an early
age and before they are first approached with the opportunity to drink.
There are some steps that can be taken to help increase the chances that children will say "no" once they are
presented with alcohol.
Although preschool age children are generally too young to be considered at risk for using alcohol, it is the
perfect opportunity to give children this age good problem solving skills and the ability to carry out these skills
on their own.
This is also the age where children imitate adults as part of their learning process so parents can be careful
to drink in moderation or not drink at all in front of these children.
Children age's four to seven are not yet capable of comprehending the concept of the future and still learn
It is important to keep discussions about alcohol in the present and use for examples people and places that the
children already know.
This is a good age to approach alcohol use from the standpoint of good health. It can be explained by things
such as how alcohol hurts the way they see, hear, walk, gives people bad breath, upset stomachs and headaches.
Children between the ages of eight and eleven or children in later elementary school years are the perfect age
to learn about alcohol and to have their decisions about alcohol use greatly influenced.
At this age, children are hungry to learn facts and to learn how things work and are at the appropriate age to
be taught the facts of alcohol use. Children this age can also be influenced by the opinions and thoughts of their
friends so it is important that they be taught about peer pressure and the need to think and act as
By the time children are teens or ages twelve to seventeen they need to be familiar with the facts about
This time is a time to review what they have already been taught and most importantly to keep the lines of
communication open with them.
During the teen years, kids have a need to challenge their parents beliefs so it is important for them to have
already internalized their knowledge of alcohol and adopted it as their own.
It is also important for the parent to keep a balance between communicating about alcohol and their experiences
while giving them the privacy that they crave.
Parents need to realize that the best way to influence the decisions their children make is by living as the
example for them to go by.
Numerous surveys list parents as the top influencers listed by children. In addition to leading by example,
talking to children and communicating even when the topic is difficult or embarrassing is the most important thing