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Tips on Talking To Teens and Tweens

Most 6-year-olds know that alcohol is only for adults. Between ages 9 and 13, youth begin to think that alcohol use is okay. That’s why it’s never too early to start talking with young people about the dangers of underage drinking.

You can feel confident in starting the discussion: Teens say that they rely on adults in their lives more than anyone else to help them make tough decisions and to provide good advice.

Here are some general tips:

  • When you talk with your children about drinking, listen to them and respect what they say.
  • Make clear your expectation that your children will not drink.
  • Teach your children about the dangers of underage drinking.
  • Discuss laws about underage drinking, including the age 21 law.

Guidelines on how to prevent underage drinking


Office of the Surgeon General. (2007). The Surgeon General's Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A Guide for Families (PDF 900KB) Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.