Kumiko Broadhurst, 48, first started talking with her children about alcohol when they were 12. She said: “One day during dinner my kids were curious what I was drinking and asked if they could have some. I explained what it was and why they couldn’t have any.”
“Since that first conversation we regularly have chats about alcohol and it’s so important to have them. Parents have more influence on their children than they might think, and children should know about alcohol and its effects.”
The new study: “Teenage drinking and the role of parents and guardians” shows that only 50% of young people who have had a chat with their parents about alcohol found the conversation helpful*. Drinkaware is now making online resources available to parents to better equip them to answer any tough questions that their children might have.
Kumiko said: “Whilst I had no problem talking to my children about alcohol I wish I had known about the Drinkaware parents’ resources before.”
The report also shows 65% of children who drink alcohol**, at least some of the time do it to fit in, or to be liked or to avoid being left out. Peer pressure has a role to play and can be a difficult conversation to have. Kumiko tackled it head on.
She said: “I felt it was important to explain that just because their friends drink, it doesn’t mean they have to. If they pressure you to have a drink, it might be time to find new friends.
“For any parent who isn’t sure on what to say I recommend visiting the Drinkaware website.”
Dr. John Larsen, Director of Evidence & Impact at Drinkaware, said:
“This new research shines a light on how parents and young people deal with the issue of alcohol and the importance of having open and honest conversations based on the facts.
“However, the research shows only half of young people are finding their conversations about alcohol helpful. Equipping yourself with up to date information could make all the difference when answering children’s questions about alcohol.
“Drinkaware has a dedicated toolkit for parents looking for advice and guidance and is committed to helping people make better choices about alcohol.”