The Century Council, in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, has commissioned a new survey of parents, with at least one child ages 10-18 living in the household. The results reveal both parents and kids cite parents as the leading influence on kid’s decisions to not drink alcohol.
89% of parents believe they hold the leading influence over their kids’ decisions not to drink at all or to not drink on occasion. A second tier of perceived influences behind parents on their kids’ decision not to drink underage includes friends/peers (57%), brothers/sisters (42%), and teachers (40%). When asked to prioritise responsibility, 71% identify my family as having the highest level of responsibility to address underage drinking, well ahead of their child’s school, and their community.
“As parents we need to start the discussion about alcohol as early as age 11 and continue having the discussion often throughout middle school, high school and college,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Century Council. “The Century Council provides resources to parents and educators to lead these conversations with their kids.”
The survey indicates most parents are talking to their kids about underage drinking, with only 10% reporting they have not yet had a conversation. When discussing underage drinking, parents are primarily talking about: how alcohol affects the brain and body (67%), drinking and driving is against the law/illegal (64%), alcohol is illegal (58%), and being physically harmed or killed (49%). The survey found that the top conversations among parents and their kids on underage drinking are the same regardless of the age of their children.