Parental Impacts on Teen Alcohol Behaviour
It’s no secret that Australian culture has a significant relationship with alcohol. Alcohol is a major feature in many aspects of Australian culture such as sports, get togethers, and celebrations.
While the consumption of alcohol in itself as a behaviour is not worrying, when teens begin drinking in these environments without first understanding their boundaries with alcohol, it can often lead to unhealthy and harmful risk-taking behaviour and even establish negative life-long habits.
Some might assume that peer-pressure is the greatest contributor to young people engaging in risky behaviour like underage drinking or drug use, the first- and often greatest- point of influence in regards to alcohol consumption comes from their home. Studies have shown that parental behaviour towards alcohol has a direct impact on the way young people view and engage with alcohol. This can be both positive and negative influence as young people learn life-long habits and behaviours from their parents’ or caregivers’ attitude and relationship with alcohol.
So how can you model positive behaviour towards alcohol which will encourage your teen to engage responsibly with alcohol?
Studies have shown that parental behaviour towards alcohol has a direct impact on the way young people view and engage with alcohol. This can be both positive and negative influence as young people learn life-long habits and behaviours from their parents’ or caregivers’ attitude and relationship with alcohol.
#Top tips to modelling positive drinking behaviour for your teen
Have an honest chat
Have an honest heart-to-heart with your teen about alcohol, and your own experiences. Being upfront about alcohol and its impacts will help your teen feel comfortable talking about alcohol with you.
Understand the laws surrounding underage drinking. While parents can supply their underage children with alcohol, there are strict laws governing the provision of alcohol to minors. More information from the Queensland government can be found below.
Be a good role model
Limit your alcohol consumption around your child and teen, and celebrate without alcohol. By showing your young person how to drink responsibly and with self-control, they’ll also start to associate these behaviours with alcohol consumption and understand you can have fun without alcohol.
Lay down some rules
Set rules for your child around alcohol use, and talk them through with your child.
Don't start them too soon
Delay the age at which you allow your child to drink. Studies show that young people who drink alcohol earlier are at greater risk of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.