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Start The Conversation.
Stop Underage Drinking.

As parents, we have the ability to influence outcomes — because when parents talk, kids listen. In fact, three quarters of youth surveyed in North Carolina think that parents talking more to their children about the dangers of underage drinking would help stop the problem. 1

So how do you get started?
Here are a few tips.

Talk early and often.

Start having conversations with your children before you think they’ll be exposed directly to alcohol. And once is not enough — ongoing, age-appropriate reinforcement is crucial.

Say things they'll understand.

10-12 Years Old 10-12 Years Old

Younger kids — pre-teens and tweens — are typically more curious about alcohol, and this is a great time to have an honest conversation about what alcohol is and the dangers associated with it.

13-17 Years Old 13-17 Years Old

Once kids become teenagers, curiosity can transform into pushing boundaries: “Why can’t I?” They know what alcohol is, and now they need to know why they shouldn’t use it, even when many of their friends are.

18-20 Years Old 18-20 Years Old

By the time they get to college, underage drinking is unfortunately very present in their lives and culture. Focus on the implications their actions can have on things like future job opportunities.

Don't Just say "no."

  • Just saying no is never enough. Honestly present your views on underage drinking, and firmly establish the rules your children should follow.
  • Explain the real risks of underage drinking — especially the damage it can cause to their still-developing brains.
  • Be the source of honest information — about the dangers of alcohol, and about strategies for avoiding it.
  • Make sure your children know you’ll always love them, and that they can come to you for help, no matter what.
Learn more about the dangers of underage drinking Facing The Facts

Get more conversation tips
Starting The Conversation
Download our underage drinking conversation starters Download PDF
  • NC Medical Society

Start The Conversation. Stop Underage Drinking.