How early do you think you should talk to your kids about drinking? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says to start young. How about as young as age 9? According to SAMHSA, children start viewing alcohol more positively between the age of 9 and 13, so 9 years old is a good time to start talking to them about underage drinking.
SAMHSA’s new website, “Talk. They Hear You,” gives parents tips for how to talk to their child. Their toolkits provide parents with data about the dangers of underage drinking, a script for navigating difficult questions, a parent-child pledge, practice videos to help parents rehearse, and suggested texts to follow up about safe behavior.
Underage drinking contributes to 4,700 deaths a year, including vehicle crashes and alcohol overdoses, but parents make a difference in teen behavior. According to one study, 80 percent of teens said their parents were the leading influence on whether they should drink.
If you or a loved one needs help for a substance abuse issue, Phoenix House is here for you. Email us or call today at 1 888 671 9392.