Introducing Kids to Alcohol
Should I let my child try my drink?
For some parents, the question of when to introduce their child to alcohol is a tricky one and can be one of the most difficult alcohol-related hurdles you will have to jump. Pre-teens may begin to show interest in alcohol early and wish to try your drink. However when is the right time to let children try alcohol for the first time and how do you decide if it is appropriate to do so?
Alcohol Guidelines for children and young people developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council state that the safest option for children is to not drink alcohol at all. “Parents and carers are advised that children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking alcohol and that for this age group, not drinking is especially important.”
Research shows that a developing brain can be permanently affected by alcohol. We also know from the research that the earlier children have been introduced to alcohol, the more likely they are to develop alcohol related problems later in life.
In light of the information we have about the potential impact of alcohol on the developing teenage brain, and the risk of developing alcohol problems later in life, it is now clear that parents should delay their child’s introduction to drinking alcohol for as long as possible.