According to a new government campaign, children should be spoken to about the dangers of alcohol as early as age 9. Government research has shown, children start to think more positively about alcohol between ages 9 and 13.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), says about 10 percent of 12-year-olds have tried alcohol, and half of 15-year-olds have done so.
One study proves that teens listen to their parents’ advice on drinking. About 80 percent of teens said their parents were the largest influence on their decision whether or not to drink.
The “Talk. They Hear You” campaign includes a toolkit with templates for a parent-child pledge, and scripts for talking with children about sensitive subjects, such as why it’s permissible for parents to drink. Parents are provided with suggested texts they can send, such as, “Have fun tonight. Remember, alcohol can lead you 2 say things and do things u wish u hadn’t.” Messages as the one illustrated can be the smallest thing you can do for your child to steer them the correct way against dangerous alcohol usage. Not only does it engage parents on the level where teens can gain a level of understanding, but it also teaches parents to never allow their children to drink at home, parties or step into a vehicle where the driver has been drinking. These preventative notations can reduce the rate of DUI’s and DWI’s along with saving young lives.
“These young people are our future leaders—our future teachers, mayors, doctors, parents, and entertainers,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. “As our youth and young adults face challenges, we as a community, need to effectively communicate with them in every way possible about the risks of underage drinking so that they have the necessary tools to make healthy and informed choices.”