What’s the best approach?
If you’ve got children, or you work with children, you’ll want to protect them from the risks of having too much alcohol, and having it too young. Here are a few tips on helping children and young people sidestep the pitfalls.
An alcohol-free childhood is the best start. Children under 15 shouldn’t have alcohol at all – their bodies just aren’t developed enough to process it
Giving children watered down wine might feel Continental, but there’s no evidence it reduces their chances of excessive drinking later on in life
In the same way, giving your teenager alcohol at home won’t stop them going out to get drunk with their mates – the evidence is that children given alcohol at home are more likely to seek it out in other places too
Children respond well to sensible rules that they understand and you stick to
If parents use alcohol responsibly, it’s more likely their children will too – does your behaviour tell your children that alcohol is the only way to relax?
It’s never too early to discuss alcohol with your children – keeping your kids in the dark will do them no favours
Be honest about your own drinking, how much you drink and why – children can spot hypocrisy a mile off
Want to know more? You can read the advice from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales on alcohol and children here.
The short advert below, from Australia, might also give you pause for thought.