Talking With Kids About Underage Drinking

mom and daughter talkingThis is a sponsored post by Anheuser-Busch.

It’s never too early -- or too late -- to talk with your children about underage drinking. Starting the dialogue now means they’ll be better informed about the risks and more likely to keep the lines of communication open as they face new circumstances and challenges.

Before you start the discussion, you’ll need to think about the message you want to convey to your kids. That means clarifying your own position on the rules and consequences surrounding underage drinking. Remember to keep the conversation age-appropriate, giving them only as much information as they need. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  1. Know the laws. Be prepared to explain them to your kids, and help them understand how they’re designed to protect and keep them safe.
  2. Outline the risks. Kids may not see the less-obvious dangers and consequences, or they may be in denial about the more serious ones. Avoid using scare tactics, but make sure they’re aware. This includes outlining any punishments you’ll impose as a parent.
  3. Define the boundaries and be consistent. Don’t make exceptions for special occasions.
  4. Set a good example. If you want them to be responsible, you should show them that you know to do the same, and value the importance of doing so.
  5. Look at the big picture. Remind your children that they’re accountable for all their actions and choices, and the consequences -- good and bad -- of those decisions. Also emphasize that you love and support them and want to give them the tools to help them make positive choices.

Have you talked to your child about underage drinking yet? If not, when do you plan to?


For more tips about talking to kids about underage drinking, click here to download a helpful guide for parents. Or join the conversation on the Anheuser-Busch Family Talk About Drinking Facebook page.

drugs & alcohol, issues, safety


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nonmember avatar Stacy

I have had to talk to my son (he is now 10 1/2) about it. His birth father is/was an alcoholic with a temper. It was not easy and I didnt want to make his father sound like the bad guy that he is but my son needed to understand why the drinking is bad and with that came into the age when it is legal as well as all the other questions he could think of.

aneela aneela

my son is only I think a few more years at least. it will depend on how much exposure he might get to seeing other ppl drinking. i try not to be in places with him that have lots of ppl he hasnt had to really think about it yet. but if he asks about things I will def talk to him at any time.

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

Our kids know that when we say "Don't do _____" that we are serious and they won't do it. We've said "Don't drink until you are 21. If we catch you in a lie about drinking before then, there will be consequences. If you come to us and be 110% honest about you drinking before you are 21, there will still be consequences, but they won't be as bad as if you lied to us about it.". That was my mom's approach to me too. I never drank underage, so I never found out what those consequences were.

matt_... matt_sara_mom

I haven't yet as they are still little. Once they are around middle school age or ready to go to other friends house without me we will sit down and talk. I will explain why we don't drink and simply explain that it's dangerous for their health. 

jen11... jen113000

I haven't yet. Well not about alcohol alone. I've talked about the dangers of taking things from other people. Such as candy drugs etc.

kellynh kellynh

I have

Miche... MichelleK41

Yes we have definitely talked to our kids about underage drinking.

pitty... pittymama

no, not yet

sukainah sukainah

Not yet.  I think they are too young.  Maybe I will start when they are around 12 or so.  We don't drink at all, so that might help too.

Miran... Miranda1127

DD(11) yes, ds(7) not yet. Well talk to ds when it comes up naturally like we did dd.

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