Should you drink?

Teenagers will often say, ”But you drink!” when you make it clear that they shouldn’t. But just as you don’t have to stop driving, just because your teenager isn’t allowed to, you don’t have to stop drinking alcohol either. But do remember that you are a role model. Your attitude to alcohol and the way you talk about it are very important.


Tell your teenager what you think about alcohol. If you drink, talk about why you drink and about why adults are allowed to drink but children aren’t. Be clear that teenagers should not drink. Don’t give in to avoid the hassle.

You can open up a discussion and help your child form their own opinions. But remember, as the adult, you are responsible for setting the rules in your family. 


It’s a good idea to talk about what to do in different situations. You might, for example, decide that one adult will always stay completely sober if your child is out in case something happens and your teenager needs you to come and get them. 


Drinking habits can be passed on to the next generation. Children who grow up in families where alcohol is a problem, or is abused, run a greater risk of developing problems with alcohol themselves. Both the family situation and genetic factors play a part.

Children with parents who drink too much can also be concerned about this, however, and be extra cautious when it comes to alcohol as a result. 

If someone in your family is a problem drinker, help is available – both for the teenager and for the adult. Go to or to answer a few simple questions and get a picture of your own alcohol consumption.

You’ll also find tips about organisations you can contact for support on this page.

More to read about the same topic

Useful contacts and more info

It can sometimes be good to talk to someone who knows a bit more about teenagers and alcohol, or about anything else, for that matter.

If you want to do more

There’s a lot you can do to support and be there for teenagers. Maybe you can take part in night-time patrols, or make it easier for them to say “no”, or help promote a smarter approach to alcohol in some other way.

Other important topics to read about

When parents are not around

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