It’s well known that underage drinking is a big problem. So, it can be a good idea to talk about alcohol with your teenager, even if you think they’re unlikely to drink. It’s best that teenagers have access to all of the information out there, rather than just factually dubious information from friends and peers. Here is some advice on how to talk openly and honestly about alcohol with your child.
Make Sure They Understand the Law
The first thing to do is to make sure your teenager knows what the rules and regulations are when it comes to underage drinking in the area you live in. Whilst the threat of the law isn’t enough to stop any teens from drinking, it is vital that your child understands what could happen if they were caught drinking. It will also help if you can talk about why these laws are in place, so your kid understands why lawmakers are keen to avoid the negative health impacts of underage drinking.
Let your teen know that you prioritize honesty above all else. If your teen is going to drink with their friends, it will be more dangerous and destructive if you know nothing about it. Whilst you don’t need to condone their drinking (and supplying drinks could leave you liable to prosecution), knowing where they are and what they are up to can help you and your teen establish a supportive, respectful relationship.
Discuss the Health Impacts
While you don’t need to try and scaremonger your kid into sobriety (such attempts from parents can often backfire), it can be useful to have a frank conversation about what alcohol does to the body, especially teenage bodies. Teens are often shocked when they realize the extent of the effects of alcohol, and knowing this can help them to temper their intake if they are drinking.