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Start The Conversation Today

Many young people who start drinking before age 21 do so when they are about 13-14 years old.  That's why it's important to start talking early and keep talking about underage drinking.  And that's why ALL adults working with young people should send the same message that underage drinking is not okay.

Early Discussions with Your Kids

It is important to start talking early with kids about alcohol, but sometimes it is hard to figure out what to say.  Often a news story or a family incident can spark a conversation about alcohol use.  Here are some sample conversation starters you can try with your kids.

"We just want to remind you that the rule in our house is that kids under 21 don't drink.  It is dangerous and against the law"

"Did you know that Uncle John has problems with alcohol, and that alcoholism runs in our family?  That means that there is even more chance that alcohol is dangerous for you, especially when your body is still developing"

"You know you are taking some medications, and you should know tha some medicines don't interact well with alcohol.  Not only is it dangerous for young people, but it would be especially risky for you."  
"Did you see those young people at the baseball game who had too much to drink?  Scary, isn't it?  It is important that you know that it is not smart to drink too much and especially dangerous when you are under 21."
"We are concerned that kids are using alcohol at younger and younger ages, and someone might offer you some.  We want to make sure you know that you are too young to drink and that we would be very disappointed if you decided to drink.  And if one of your friends is drinking and in trouble, please help by coming to us."

"We need to talk about drinking.  You know how we feel about it.  Listen, when you are drinking, it screws up your judgement, and you could really get hurt.  We don't want you drinking."
Youth Task Force of Martha's Vineyard