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Talking to Your Child About Drinking

Alcohol is the most popular youth drug in the United States. Underage drinking causes more than 4,300 deaths a year. It accounts for more than 10% of the alcohol consumed in the U.S.

Parents have a big impact on whether or not their children drink alcohol. You can help your children avoid alcohol use by talking to them about it and telling them about the risks.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you talk to your kids about alcohol:

  • Talk to your kids before they start
    Don't wait to have the talk. The number of children who have tried alcohol goes up as they get older. Talk to your children early so your advice can have more impact on their choices.
  • One talk is not enough
    It is better to have many small talks about alcohol than one big talk. Talking often about issues like underage drinking is a good way to build a strong relationship with your child.
  • Be clear and consistent
    Tell your children that underage drinking is never okay. Make sure you stick to your rules. Children are more likely to follow your rules about drinking if you are honest and clear when you talk about it.
  • Be your child's best example
    Set a good example for your children when it comes to alcohol. Always drink in moderation and never drive when you've been drinking.