New report: Talk to kids about alcohol by age 9 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New report: Talk to kids about alcohol by age 9


According to a new report, moms and dads should start talking to their nine-year-olds about alcohol in order to prevent binge drinking when they get in their teens.

While some parents say nine is too young, others say it’s not a bad idea. 

“The earlier you can open up that like line of communication, the better off that you are,” fifth and sixth grade teacher at Richland Schools, Lori Anderson, said.

Anderson said she wasn’t surprised to learn that the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests kids should hear about the “do’s and don’ts” of alcohol by age nine.

“They’re curious about that and they want to know if they can have a drink of that and why they can’t have a drink,” Rebecca Arnold said.

Arnold, a mom and a Richland second grade teacher agrees, the earlier you can have that conversation, the better.

“I have a ten year old and I talked to her about that probably when she was about eight,” Arnold said.

According to research, among 12 to 14 year olds who drink, about half of them binge drink. Experts say educating kids early can help curb the trend.

“Anything to make them think before they act,” Arnold said.

“You stop that misinformation,” Richland School Nurse Carlie Jones said.

Still, some moms say nine just too young. Theresa Steffan said on Facebook, her son is eight and she “can’t imagine” having that conversation so early.

However, Jones said it’s a conversation worth considering, as long as your child is mature enough for the talk.

“Many nine year olds are ready to talk about that, and usually you don’t have to wait. Usually they’re already coming to you already asking you questions,” Jones said.

Jones said as soon as your child starts asking questions or even if they simply hint at something they may be curious about, don’t ignore those signs.

She and the teachers say, of course, every child is different and may reach those tough subjects at varying ages.

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