Your Choice - info for parents
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As a parent, you can help to delay your child’s initiation to alcohol.

You and your family and friends play an important role in the development of your teenager’s values, attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol.

Research has found that parenting style is one of the most important influences on whether a child will drink responsibly in adolescence and in adulthood. These studies show that children whose parents are disengaged are at significantly greater risk of excessive drinking at age 16 (by 836%) and age 34 (by 240%).

These statistics demonstrate that your efforts as a parent have long lasting impacts and can make a significant difference to the relationship your children have with alcohol. Research shows that combining consistent warmth and discipline, known as the ‘tough love’ style of parenting, works and highlights the importance of parental role modelling.

To be a good role model it is important to:

Measure up?
As children absorb your behaviour, it is important to be aware about how your attitudes towards drinking and drinking behaviours can influence your child.

The World Health Organization has developed a simple method to identify patterns of alcohol consumption and to screen for excessive drinking.

Click the link below to see how you measure up.

Audit

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Good communication is vital to the development of a positive relationship with your child.

When communicating with your teenagers, it is important to:

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It is recommended that for children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

However, for some parents it might be more appropriate to set some boundaries about alcohol use by their child.

It is important to consult with your teenagers in a reasonable and rational way, in order to come to an understanding about how much alcohol is appropriate and what is considered unacceptable.

It is important to be realistic when setting limits, so that your child respects the boundaries that have been set. It might also be useful to highlight the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption such as increased risk of harm and to determine potential punishments for breaking the agreement.

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Teenagers generally don’t like being told what to do. Here are some tips to help you deliver important information to your child in a supportive and understanding way.

Tips for you

Tips for them

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If you discover that your child has been drinking it is important to:

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Peer pressure can influence teens to do things they wouldn’t usually do.

As a child’s friends begin to play an important role in shaping their identities, the influence of peer pressure increases. However parents are, and always will be, the most important influence in their children’s lives.

When dealing with peer pressure, it is important to:

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If you need help or you have a child who you think has an alcohol problem, speak with:

Help for parents

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