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Underage drinking: What is the best approach

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Underage drinking: What is the best approach

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Underage drinking: What is the best approach

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Question: “Hi I have a daughter turning 14 this month and she has just started to drink alcohol she has been honest and open with it. There are so many views on teenage drinking I'm pretty relaxed and believe you are better of knowing what your teen is up too rather than being lied to. Some advice would be helpful.”




Hi, this is a really difficult question to answer. Firstly the legal drinking age in all Australian states is 18, so firstly we can’t condone underage drinking. There are also penalties for supplying alcohol to minors, these vary state to state…..


With that out of the way its really important to be honest with your teen about your opinions of their activities. This isn’t the time for lectures rather a time to ask them what their thoughts are on the subject of underage drinking, what they are doing when they drink, do they feel safe and the allowing your self time to listen and consider their perspective. After you have both had some time to think it can then be good to arrange a time to sit down with your teen and explain your perspectives and your thoughts on their drinking.


This isn’t going to be an easy conversation remembering that teenagers normally consider scenarios from an emotional irrational perspective vs an adults rational logical perspective. Consider this if you are trying to come at the conversation from a  purely factual angle, your teen probably knows the rules and right from wrong, what they may not know if why you are making the decisions you are making and your reasoning behind them. Helping your teen to understand your perspective allows them to better understand a situation and hopefully make informed decision based on fact rather than speculation and assumption.


The choice going forwards is yours to make but having as much information about your teenagers perspective as well as your teen knowing where you stand is going to help both of you moving forwards as you navigate this together. Below are some resources from to give some more perspectives.


Child & Family Professional, The Benevolent Society


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