Teenager dating at age13 to17
Warn them how easy it is to go over their limits, make a fool of themselves and compromise their safety or do something they might regret later.
With that in mind, the best thing a parent can do to prevent underage drinking is to talk and listen to teenagers in a way that encourages them to behave more responsibly.The same amount of alcohol has a much greater effect on the body and organs of a child or young person than on an adult, because their bodies (especially their brains and liver) are still growing and developing.As parents, the longer we can delay the age of drinking outside of the home, the more likely our kids are to escape the risks around drinking.On average, UK children have their first whole alcoholic drink at just aged 13, and this is overwhelmingly in a family setting, as it should be, there is however, a world of difference between sips on special occasions and whole drinks.Medical guidance, is that an alcohol free childhood until the age of at least 15 is advised, and this is for very good reasons, as teenagers brains and livers are not fully developed, so they cannot break down alcohol.This is called ‘buying by proxy’, so it is often parents and close family members who are the main suppliers of alcohol.
As parents, we really are key, teenagers say themselves that we define how much and at what age they begin drinking.
Alcohol has more of an effect so the risk of accidents and injury to themselves or others is high, and perhaps most importantly exam predictions suffer, falling by 20 points among those who drink weekly, that’s the difference between an A* and a C.
Underage drinking has halved in England over the last decade, with 62% of 11 -1 5 year olds saying they haven’t even tried alcohol and the number of 15 year olds drinking weekly has fallen to 10%.
Even among 16 -24 year olds just 18% binge drink regularly, contrary to what the media tell us, so teenagers are much better behaved than in our day!
The key thing to remember as parents or carers however, is the more relaxed we are about alcohol in the home, the more likely our kids are to drink outside of it, at parties and in public places, and that’s where risk taking is most likely to happen.
Try to make the conversation natural, using something like a TV programmes and magazines can be a good place to start.