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Messages to parents during Alcohol Awareness Week

The best way for parents to protect children from alcohol and drugs is to talk to them about it. Despite what many parents may think, they continue to be one of the most important influences what their children think and do throughout teenage years.

Warwickshire DAAT in partnership with the Family Information Service have reissued an information leaflet for parents on how to talk to their children about alcohol and the best times to do so.

Leaflets are available free of charge, but stocks are limited. To order, please contact rosscaws@warwickshire.gov.uk

Top tips on talking to your children about alcohol

Don’t wait

Children are aware of alcohol from an earlier age than you might think. So don’t

be tempted to think that your own child is too young to know about alcohol.

You should certainly be talking about it by the time your child makes the move

to secondary school.

Be honest

Be prepared to talk openly about your own attitude to alcohol, how much you

drink and why you drink. Your child is bound to want to talk about this.

Look for openers

 The effects of alcohol often pop up in news stories, films and soaps. These all

offer opportunities for talking about alcohol in your home. Or why not broach

the topic in an everyday situation such as giving your child a lift in the car?

Don’t forget to listen

Try asking your child what they understand about alcohol rather than telling

them what you know. Get a conversation going. If there are questions you don’t

know the answers to, look them up together with your child.

Keep talking

Your child has to cope with many issues as they grow up. Try to get in the habit

of talking with your child about all of them – including alcohol. 

Pick your moment

If your child has drunk alcohol, pick your moment to talk to them about it. It’s

not a good idea to talk to your child about alcohol when they’re drunk or have a

hangover. Wait until they are in a receptive mood.

Set boundaries

Similarly, if your child is drinking alcohol, set some clear limits to the use of

alcohol by your child and let them know why you are doing it. Explain what,

when and how much you think it is appropriate for them to drink. Involve them

in a discussion so they know you’ve taken their views into account. Then stick

consistently to the rules you’ve set.

About Paul Hooper, WCC (575 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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