Let your child know you care about their future.

Give them some good reasons why you don’t want them to drink. Encourage them to add to your list.

  • You want them to do well in school.
  • You want them to have self-respect.
  • You want them to stay safe and healthy.
  • You want them to stay out of trouble.
  • You want them to grow up to realize their full potential.
  • You don’t want them to face the long-term challenges of alcoholism later in life.

Don’t just tell your kids not to drink. Help them stay away from situations where underage drinking can occur.

Good ways to help them not start drinking:

  • Don’t wait to bring the topic up — let them know that underage drinking matters to you and that you will be paying attention.
  • Let them know you understand there will be pressures to drink, and they can come talk to you about it.
  • Boredom is one reason kids start drinking. Help them pursue activities — sports, the school play, band, Scouts, 4-H — that help them dream and develop their gifts and self-esteem. When kids are busy and part of a productive group, they’re less likely to turn to negative things like alcohol.
  • Let them know you love them, you value them and that they matter. When kids feel like they have a strong sense of identity and security, they’re less likely to seek approval and succumb to peer pressure later.
Boy blows candle on birthday cake with his 2 friends.

1 in 3 Kids have tried alcohol by age 8

By age 12, the number of kids who have tried alcohol increases to 2 in 3.

Tip: The earlier you start talking to your child about alcohol, the better. Early engagement can help your child avoid future problems with alcohol.

Dear Parent

The more you learn about underage drinking, the more confident you will feel talking to your child about it.