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Alcohol and Kids

Who drank all my beer?

cheers with drinks

When I was a kid, there’d be times when an occasional sip of wine at dinner (usually at Christmas or other celebration) was commonplace. Then teenage years came, fake ID and binge drinking before coming out the other side as a ‘responsible drinker’ sometime in my mid 20s.


Rules seem pretty crystal clear where most countries drinking age is 18. There are a few specific circumstances where kids may have alcohol (usually a situation like in a private home with responsible parent), but these rules vary greatly from country to country and state to state. It’s easy to find the specific laws for your area with a quick google.


Alcohol can be dangerous and harmful to all people, particularly when consumed in excess. Laws are put in place for a reason, and it’s fair to say some of these laws are bent by many people. It’s important to educate our children about alcohol at an early age so they can understand why these laws exist and teach them to be responsible around alcohol as they grow into adults.


drunk teenage girl

Importance of Teaching Children about Alcohol

By understanding the potential risks associated with alcohol consumption, children can make more informed choices about whether or not to drink alcohol. Educating kids about alcohol can help to reduce the likelihood of alcohol-related accidents or injuries. Children who understand the effects of alcohol may be less likely to engage in dangerous activities such as driving under the influence or binge drinking.


Research has shown that early education about alcohol can be an effective tool for reducing the likelihood of underage drinking. By teaching children about the risks and consequences of alcohol consumption, they may be less likely to experiment with alcohol as they get older.


Unfortunately peer pressure is one of the greatest contributing factors of children using alcohol so they can fit in with their friends and not be socially isolated. Teach them to be confident and to say ‘No’ in these situations the same as they should when it comes to drugs, smoking and vaping.


Risks Associated with Underage Drinking

Underage drinking can have a range of negative consequences for children. It can impair their judgement and decision-making abilities, which can lead to dangerous behaviour. For example, children who drink alcohol may be more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour or to get into fights.


drunk guy passed out

Health implications

Alcohol can also have a negative impact on a child's physical health. Drinking alcohol at a young age can interfere with the development of the brain, which can lead to cognitive and behavioural problems later in life. Additionally, underage drinking can increase the risk of developing alcohol-related diseases such as liver disease, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Underage drinking can also have social and emotional consequences for children. Children who drink alcohol may be more likely to experience depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Alcohol consumption can lead to social problems such as isolation, exclusion and bullying.


lively bar

Strategies for Teaching Children about Alcohol

When teaching your Kids use age-appropriate language and activities to help children understand the risks associated with alcohol. For younger children, this may involve using simple language and interactive activities such as role-playing or storytelling.


For older children, more in-depth discussions may be necessary to help them understand the potential consequences of alcohol consumption. Real life examples that have impacted you personally or can recount are great tools for aiding in these talks.


Another effective strategy is to focus on the positive aspects of a healthy lifestyle, rather than simply warning children about the dangers of alcohol. This can include talking about the benefits of exercise, healthy eating and good sleep habits. By promoting a healthy lifestyle, children may be more likely to make positive decisions about their health and well-being.


drunk teenagers

Responsible

As a dad it is your responsibility to to protect and raise your children safely. Be a good role model, drink responsibly yourself. Show them it’s ok to drink non-alcoholic drinks even if peer pressured by friends.

An argument can be made that you may wish to introduce your child to drinking in a controlled environment earlier, so when they feel effects of alcohol you are there as a safety measure. This may be preferable to letting them experience it for the first time and end up face down in a pile of vomit at a party.


As always, put your child first and include others such as the children’s mum in these important life decisions.


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