Lanashire County Council

Parental Information

When is the best time to start talking about alcohol with children?

There is no definite answer to this. Ideally it is best to talk about alcohol, as informally as possible, before children starts to experiment with alcohol by themselves or with their friends. This is not, however, as easy as it sounds and many parents wait until their children are in their teens and beginning to start drinking alcohol before discussing it.

Download Clear Alcohol Information pdf Download Clear,
a guide to help when taliking to your children about alcohol.

It’s never too early to chat with your child. After all, if their parents use alcohol and if it is kept at home, most children are aware from a very early age. Research shows that by the age of 7 most children will have tasted alcohol and between the ages of 10 and 12 will have had their first alcoholic drink.

Children have naturally enquiring minds and are full of questions. Answering their questions as honestly as you can will help to develop good relationships, which will be easier to build on when they reach their teens.

Remember that most teenagers that use alcohol drink moderately and act in a sensible manner in the same way that the majority of adults do. When children see their parents, and other adults, drinking sensibly and being relaxed they are more likely to respect and follow that behaviour than if they see them drinking too much, doing dangerous things or acting aggressively – all of which can be frightening for any child or young person.

This site has been developed to help you talk to your child about alcohol. You will find lots of useful information which you can read through and talk about with your child. If your child is younger and struggling to read you can help by reading through the information together. Any quality time spent with your child whether talking and listening or finding facts and information together is a good basis for developing a healthy and open relationship later in their lives.