Influencing Kids Attitudes to Alcohol
How you can positively shape your pre-teen’s attitudes to alcohol
The reason why your child’s attitude to alcohol is so important is because it will affect how they make a range of important decisions about alcohol in the future… pace yourself or fill-up fast, drink and drive or take a taxi, drink to get drunk or drink sensibly – the list goes on and on.
Research shows that when it comes to alcohol, positive influences early in life help to develop healthy attitudes and behaviour towards drinking.
If you ask most people what influences the lives of pre-teens and teenagers, the common answers would be the obvious – advertising, celebrities, school friends and other peers – just to name a few. However if you ask young people, they feel it is in fact their parents who play the biggest role in influencing their attitudes, especially to drinking alcohol.
This is important because many parents don’t realise the impact their own drinking behaviour and attitudes to alcohol are having on their pre-teens.
- Drink responsibly. Young children will mimic adult behaviours. Take the opportunity to demonstrate responsible drinking and healthy attitudes to alcohol whenever possible.
- Don’t glorify alcohol and intoxication.
- Encourage friends and family to be good role models for your kids.
- Avoid people and places that will have a negative impact on your developing child’s attitude to alcohol.
- Don’t drink alcohol everyday. Set rules and boundaries around alcohol.
- Encourage non-alcoholic family gatherings.
- Educate and communicate. Talk to your child about alcohol. Explain the importance of drinking moderately and why adults should only consume it.
- Don’t be afraid to answer their questions.