Ways to delay teenage drinking

Research shows that the younger a person is when they start to drink regularly, the greater their risk of alcohol-related problems later in life. By highlighting the short term effects of getting drunk, such as being sexually assaulted or robbed, plus the embarrassment of looking a fool in front of their mates, you can help delay the age that teenagers start drinking and the amount they consume. This is more effective than just saying ‘don’t’ or using scare tactics.

These tips should help:

  • Encourage sports, hobbies, clubs and social activities that keep your kids active and fulfilled.
  • Teenagers say boredom and hanging around with nothing to do is a reason for drinking. Encourage them to get a holiday job or volunteer.
  • Establish routines, like mealtimes, that mean you can spend some time together and talk to each other. This helps your child to feel they can come to you if they have a problem.
  • Make sure you know the facts and laws about alcohol and can talk in a balanced and constructive way about the pros and cons of drinking.
  • Talk and listen to your teenager. It is important that they hear your views and that you hear theirs. Use everyday opportunities, for example a storyline in a TV programme, as a prompt.
  • Make sure the ground rules are clear, discuss them with all family members, and be clear about what is allowed and not allowed. Have consequences for breaking rules and enforce them such as stopping their allowance or grounding them.
  • Check where they’re going and who they’re with, and always make sure they’ve got a fully charged mobile with them and that they keep it on.
  • Follow our party tips.

If you have any questions regarding information on this site, please do contact kate@alcoholeducationtrust.org

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