Talk About Alcohol When Kids are Nine – There’s an App for That!
“Most 6-year-olds know that alcohol is only for adults. Between the ages of 9 and 13, kids start to view alcohol differently. Many begin to think drinking is OK. Some even start to experiment. It is never too early to talk to your child about alcohol.”
That good advice is from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), a government group with tools to help parents. SAMHSA was cited in a new report for pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) titled “Binge Drinking”. The co-author of AAP report is Dr. Lorena Siqueira, clinical professor of pediatrics at Florida International University. She recently spoke with livescience.com:
” [Alcohol] is the substance most frequently abused by children and adolescents,” Siqueira told Live Science. But because it’s a legal substance, the consequences are downplayed, she said. … “When I have kids in the ICU [intensive care unit], and I tell the parents it’s alcohol, they’re relieved,” Siqueira said. But they shouldn’t feel relief, she added. “[Alcohol] is a killer,” she said.
The livescience.com article also has great tips for how parents can avoid modeling poor behavior concerning alcohol. Because, as we all know, what parents DO in the presence of their children speaks volumes!
- Talk with other adults in your family about the messages you DO send WANT TO send about drinking.
- Download this app for parents from SAMHSA to practice having a talk with their child about drinking.
This photo “Pingüim” by Ninha Morandini (2008) https://www.flickr.com/photos/8418203@N07/2819287868/ is made available by Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license.