Parents expect to have tough talks with their kids. But how many parents expect to have that ‘booze talk’ when their kids are as young as 9 years old? That’s the recommendation in a new report published this week in the journal Pediatrics.
CBC News quoted the report’s co-author, Dr. Lorena Siqueira, on why the talk should happen at such a young age:
“The more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing, the more likely they are to drink, and if they are already drinking, this exposure leads them to drink more,” Siqueira and her team said. “Therefore, it is very important to start talking to children about the dangers of drinking as early as nine years of age.”
The study, from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), focused on the dangers of binge drinking in adolescents. According to a story in Parenting Magazine – “many kids are starting to drink in junior high and even more do in high school…..66 percent of kids have had “more than a few sips of alcohol” by the time high school ends, and 25 percent have by 8th grade. And last year, one in nine 8th graders admitted to having been drunk at least one time.”
Live Science offered ‘Tips for Parents’ as they face this often uncomfortable conversation with their kids.
To warn children about the dangers of alcohol abuse, Dr. Siqueira recommends parents use every available opportunity to talk about the issue. “[Alcohol is] ubiquitous” she said. And kids see it everywhere — on the sides of buses, on billboards and in movies, she said. “If you’re driving, and you see someone swerving, talk about that. If you see it in a movie, talk to your kids about it then,” she said.
Parents should also set a good example for their kids, Siqueira said. Eighty percent of teenagers say that their parents are the biggest influence on their decision to drink, according to the report. That doesn’t mean parents can’t have a glass of wine in front of children, but getting drunk in front of the kids is a bad idea, Siqueira said. Parents should also avoid talking about alcohol to fix problems, like coming home and saying, “I need a drink,” she added.
Binge Drinking is one of the many health issues we must address if we are to one day achieve our vision of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!