What Do Parents Say About Alcohol?


Disclosure: this is a sponsored post in partnership with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I learned about drinking from watching the grown ups around me and that one time I took a sip of something left on the coffee table as my parents were saying goodbye to the last of their guests after a party.

But my biggest lessons from alcohol is as the child of an alcoholic.  I don't remember anyone sitting me down to talk about what alcohol was, exactly. I remember the "don't drink that" command. If there were talks, I don't really recall them.

I wish my mom was around to ask her because now it's my job to impart and equip the Frog Princess with this knowledge. In her absence, I've been able to dig through information thanks to the #TalkEarly program to provide me with data and information that helps me be more informed and talk to my kid.

I think summer, with it's gatherings and cold beverages, provides a great space to begin conversations about alcohol. Not everyone is having them but everyone should.

In a recent survey (and of no surprise to us talkative peeps), it was found that overall, moms talk more about alcohol to kids than dads do. What are they talking about specifically, you ask?

  • Mothers reported speaking with their children about alcohol more than fathers: 86% vs. 80%.
  • Moms begin the conversation earlier. At age 5 , while dads initiate conversations at 6.
  • While parents share the responsibility of discussing alcohol and underage drinking with kids, it's usually the mom that's having more conversations with their kids about the topic. 
    • 36% of moms self-identify as the primary parent discussing alcohol while dads come in at 1% self-identifying as the primary discussing the topic.
  • Mothers rate the impact of drinking in front of their children as having a greater impact on their kids than fathers do. Yet 29% of fathers reported concerns over their own alcohol consumption vs. 17% of moms.

Oh, and here's a doozy...

This data doesn't surprise me. My mom was the talker of all things. I think in part, because  I was around her more so naturally this would fall to her. Same with the Frog Princess although we tend to do a 1-2 punch with her dad following up and giving her his perspective on subjects like this one, which I think helps reinforce it.

To be clear, this isn't a knock on dads as much as it is a reminder that we need to be talking to the kids (and each other)  about the subject of alcohol consumption: early and often.

I do feel that what you do speaks louder than what you say, though. So, while talking to my child about alcohol has been important, I try to model responsible behavior along the way and answer any questions she might have in the moment because you know those don't wait til scheduled conversations to pop out.

This is a great season to kick off discussions about alcohol with your kids. And based on the research, I think it's a great time to have discussions with other adults in your child's life. It takes a village and having everyone on the same page makes for a stronger team.

If you don't know where to begin, check out the #TalkEarly page for resources or take a look back at what I've shared here and here.