Talking To Your Kids About Underage Drinking #TalkEarly

ask listen learn underage drinking

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through The Motherhood working on a project with the Century Council. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links within post. 

Have you talked to your kids about underage drinking? Do you know when you should start talking to your kids about underage drinking? These are questions that most parents are faced with these days. It seems kids are faced with the issues earlier than we were and as parents, it’s our responsibility to be sure they are armed with the tools and knowledge to handle these situations when they come up.

ask listen learn underage drinking

My kids are 16, 14, 10 and 8 and we have had the discussion about underage drinking with all 4 of them. I don’t specifically remember the age we started, but it’s always been a natural part of our family discussions throughout the years. The discussion changes as my kids get older and our family changes.

Dr. Anthony Wolf

Last week I participated in The Century Council briefing with Dr. Anthony Wolf. Dr. Anthony Wolf is a practicing child psychologist, father of two “ex-teenagers” and wrote several books.

[amazon_image id=”0061915459″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]I’d Listen to My Parents If They’d Just Shut Up: What to Say and Not Say When Parenting Teens[/amazon_image]  [amazon_image id=”0374528535″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated[/amazon_image]

Underage Drinking Discussion Tips

Dr. Wolf had some great advice for talking to your kids about underage drinking.  Here are a few of the tips I learned:

  • Parents have a bigger influence on their kids than parents think they do.
  • Parents must be aware of the dangers and effects of drinking before they can teach their kids.
  • Be sure you give your child your full attention when having an important conversation about underage drinking (or other topic.)
  • Do not give attitude back to your teenager. It will only create more disrespect and back talk. Rise above the attitude.
  • Talk to them in an adult manner. Drinking is an adult topic and should be approached in the same manner.
  • This should be a conversation and not an argument. There is no winning, just discussing.
  • Do not criticize or correct kids when they are talking. They may shut down and not open up in the future for fear of being wrong.
  • Ask questions to keep the conversation going and to encourage them to open up.
  • Teach your children to confidently say “no.”
  • Parents need to Ask, Listen & Learn.

Here is a quick video of Dr. Anthony Wolf discussing underage drinking with The Century Council:

My Tip

Sometimes kids do get into a situation where they feel trapped or are not sure how to handle it. I give my kids a way to easily ask for help. They text me “1111” and that is my signal to call them and tell them I am coming to pick them up. I want them to learn to say no, but if faced with a situation they don’t know how to handle, I want them to know they have a way out and they do not need to give in.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through The Motherhood working on a project with the Century Council. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links within post. 



Leave a comment
  • It is so important to talk to our kids about this. In today’s society with the push from advertisers targeting younger and younger markets and the things they are exposed to now that I didn’t have to worry much about when I was growing up, communication is key.

  • Michelle, I love your tip for your children. I think that is brilliant – a simple, quick text that says all you need to know and fast. Reading Paddy’s comment there, this would have been a case in point.

    I guess peer pressure needs some consideration however as you have said of your children “I want them to know they have a way out and they do not need to give in”. I imagine you having a fantastic relationship with your kids. Thank-you for sharing such an important topic.

  • I fully agree Kris. We went to our cousins the other night and their son went to a party he was 11 at about 10.30 knock on the door and it was friends father bringing home the son, totally drunk… he could not walk it was absolutely awful, he maintained they spiked his drink. My counsin and husband went to the house where there was the party drunk kids all over the place parents inside having a great party too so I suppose if parents dont have control these things happen.

  • My kid is only 4 years old and seems to be too young to talk about underage drinking. But as early as now, I try to have an open communication with him and encourages him to discuss any thing he has in mind. This is a good way to start educating kids with a more serious issue in the future.

  • This is probably going to sound terrible .. but my parents always offered me a taste of alcohol. So I already knew what it tasted like and I wasn’t so interested as there was no mystery. Plus, I was a competitive gymnast .. didn’t have time for that stuff anyway.

    I like that your kids have a way out .. nothing like peer pressure to tip the decision scale.


Let me know what you thought!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get Our Newsletter!

Want to know when new posts are released? Sign up for our newsletter.