The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reminds parents that it’s never too early to talk to your kids about the dangers of underage drinking. They found that parents have a significant influence on whether their kids drink. SAMHSA also found that children start experimenting with alcohol earlier than many parents realize:
- 10 percent of 9- to 10-year-olds have already started drinking.
- By the age of 12-years-old, 10 percent of kids say they’ve tried alcohol.
- And by age 15, that number jumps to 50 percent.
To help parents and caregivers start a conversation about the harms of underage drinking with the children in their care, SAMHSA created an underage drinking website with free resources to help parents talk to their kids about the dangers of alcohol.
The “Talk. They Hear You” website features a science-based, interactive mobile application tool that allows parents to use avatars to practice conversations with their children about alcohol. This free, interactive role-playing tool gives parents and caregivers of children ages 9–15 the chance to practice “virtually” talking with a child about underage drinking. The app helps parents build their skills and confidence to have these conversations with their own children and keep the conversation going.
“The Talk. They Hear You.” free app is available for download on iTunes, Google Play and the Windows Phone Store.