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Talk to Drinkaware about various issues surrounding underage drinking – x3 £200 voucher prize draw NOW CLOSED

(207 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Oct-13 11:12:12

Drinkaware would like to find out Mumsnetters' opinions on talking to your children about alcohol and underage drinking.

Here's what Drinkaware have to say, Drinkaware is pleased to be working in partnership with Mumsnet to raise awareness about the issues surrounding children and alcohol. By providing tips and expert advice to mums, we hope to encourage them to feel confident in talking to their children about alcohol in the pre-teen years, before the onset of peer pressure. For more detailed information on how to do this and to practice conversations using our interactive video, go to drinkaware.co.uk"

This thread will be open for one month, during which we will add new questions (with a total of three questions over the month) to the thread. All of the questions will centre around how to approach issues surrounding alcohol with your children.

Before we add a new question to the discussion there will be a prize draw for a £200 Amazon voucher for everyone who added has their comments and thoughts to the thread so far.

Questions:

1. "Thinking about those (sometimes) tricky conversations with your children about topics such as sex and relationships, drugs, online safety: how important do you think it is to talk to them about alcohol, and at what age do you think is the best time?"

2 "Medical experts recommend children are not allowed any alcohol before 16. Do you think this is the right age? Or do you think that you should introduce children gradually to alcohol from a young age under your supervision?"

3 "How much of an influence do you think your own drinking behaviour has on your child? Do you think it is OK for your child to see you or your partner drunk?"

Thanks and good luck!

MNHQ

GetKnitted Sun 03-Nov-13 21:54:57

I think any parent's drinking habits have a massive influence on the kids, though if taken to the extreme it can have the opposite effect. Our dc will never see us drunk

NettleTea Mon 04-Nov-13 16:41:55

1. "Thinking about those (sometimes) tricky conversations with your children about topics such as sex and relationships, drugs, online safety: how important do you think it is to talk to them about alcohol, and at what age do you think is the best time?"

Alcohol is just as important to talk about, and preferably before they start going out and getting paralytic!! My DD is 13 and she has the occassional drink when she is with me and others are drinking. Now is probably a good age to approach it, as I imagine that soon there will be parties where alcohol may be brought, even if its not intended or widespread.

2 "Medical experts recommend children are not allowed any alcohol before 16. Do you think this is the right age? Or do you think that you should introduce children gradually to alcohol from a young age under your supervision?"

Well, as Ive already stated that I have allowed her some I think that probably answers the question!! Though she only really has 'tastes' - wine watered down etc. My DS has had a sip of beer at 7 - he didnt like it. I wouldnt let him drink yet, he is still far too young.

3 "How much of an influence do you think your own drinking behaviour has on your child? Do you think it is OK for your child to see you or your partner drunk?"

Neither I nor my DP have been drunk in front of the children. Both sets of grandparents have. DD found it really embarrasing.

stephgr Mon 04-Nov-13 21:08:15

1. I think you need to talk about alcohol whenever children ask about it. It is important.

2 I think there is benefit in allowing children under 16 to drink under supervision. I first tried wine when I was 13 and didn't like it so had no interest in alcohol until there was peer pressure several years later.

3 I definitely think behaviour impacts upon children. I have never let my children see me when I've had too much although their dad hasn't been so careful. I really don't like it when they see him drunk. I believe children can think getting drunk is acceptable and are more likely to drink or drink too much if they see their parents drunk but I do have a couple of friends who are tee-total because they had heavy-drinking parents and that has put them off.

MadMonkeys Wed 06-Nov-13 19:29:07

I will talk to my kids about it when the topic naturally arises, or certainly by the time they are around 8 or 9. They see us drink occasionally, but we never get drunk so they would never see us in that state. If they seem interested in discussing it when they are much younger that is fine with me.

allyfe Wed 06-Nov-13 20:14:10

1. "Thinking about those (sometimes) tricky conversations with your children about topics such as sex and relationships, drugs, online safety: how important do you think it is to talk to them about alcohol, and at what age do you think is the best time?"

My children are still young, and I haven't really thought about when I will talk to them about alcohol.

2 "Medical experts recommend children are not allowed any alcohol before 16. Do you think this is the right age? Or do you think that you should introduce children gradually to alcohol from a young age under your supervision?"

I find this advice a little confusing. When I was a child I used to be allowed to taste my Mum's cider, and my friends used to be allowed a small amount of wine. My friends in France were allowed a small amount of wine. I appreciate that wine is a drug and therefore it is not really ever good for you, so it makes sense that you shouldn't be allowed to drink it when you are young. But by making it 16, I think it will turn it into a right-of-passage experience. I wonder whether a small amount in a controlled environment with parents before that is a better way of teaching children about being responsible.

3 "How much of an influence do you think your own drinking behaviour has on your child? Do you think it is OK for your child to see you or your partner drunk?"

I am allergic to alcohol, and I have little empathy or understanding of why anyone would want to get drunk much beyond the age of 25. But here I differentiate between people who drink and people who are drunk. I would hate for my children to see their Dad drunk, or really to have to see anyone else drunk. But certainly, I think it normalises a level of alcohol consumption which is not healthy.

missorinoco Thu 07-Nov-13 13:29:53

How much of an influence......?

It will colour their opinions and decisions. DH occasionally has a wine or beer with a meal, mainly we have a glass or two at the weekend. They have never seen us drunk, I don't think I have been drunk since my eldest was born, but I wouldn't want them to.

Would I mind them seeing me tipsy? Probably not if they were older, but with small children I don't think I could parent well drunk, and I don't think it would be a good influence to see me drinking to the point I was tipsy and silly.

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Nov-13 15:06:47

Thank you everyone for adding your thoughts to the thread. This thread has now closed and final winner has been selected. Congratulations to MoogDroog, we'll be in touch shortly!

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