How to talk with your children about alcohol

By Tiffany Hall, executive director of Recover Alaska

Having the “alcohol talk” with your child can be a daunting milestone. It’s difficult to know how to go about it, when to bring the topic up and how to convey a certain level of seriousness without alienating your child. However, the bottom line is that no matter what, your kid has questions about alcohol. If you don’t answer those questions, they will find the information (factual or not) from a different source. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about one in three 15-year-olds has tried alcohol – which means two out of three teens have not! Waste no time. Opening a conversation early on and establishing a firm foundation of trust will play a critical role in their decision to experiment with alcohol. Not saying anything can sometimes be the biggest statement of all.

Here are seven tips and strategies for talking with your kids about alcohol use:

These simple steps can be a huge help as you begin to tackle the topic of alcohol with your child. Though the nationwide statistics on teen alcohol use can feel overwhelming, there are also some impressive statistics about the youth right here in Alaska. In fact, 78 percent of Alaska’s high school students do not drink alcohol, and alcohol use among this statewide demographic has decreased 16 percent over the last 10 years. So let’s keep the conversation going, and encourage the future of Alaska to make smart and healthy choices.

Tiffany Hall is the executive director of Recover Alaska, an organization working to recover, reclaim and restore the strengths of Alaska’s families and communities by celebrating the true stories of Alaskans overcoming alcohol addiction and by providing valuable resources to the entire state. For more information visit: