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Mumsnet joins Drinkaware to help parents talk to pre-teens

Published:  19 October, 2011

Drinkaware is harnessing the power of Mumsnet bloggers to encourage parents to talk to their pre-teens about alcohol.

Earlier this week the charity held a roundtable with Mumsnet co-founder Carrie Longton and other parenting bloggers to discuss how to help parents talk to their children about drinking, and delay youngsters' first drink.

The majority of children say they would go to parents first for advice about alcohol - 65% would go to their mother and 51% to their father- according to research carreid out for the Department for children, schools and families.

Research showed that only 17% of parents have thought about what they would say when talking to their children about alcohol, and 80% say they'll "deal with it when it happens". The charity is offering practical, age-appropriate advice for parents of children aged 8 to 17 at

Chris Sorek, Drinkaware's chief executive, said: "While it might be tempting for parents to delay speaking to their children about alcohol until they are older and more mature, we know opening a dialogue in their pre-teen years is crucial to delaying the age of first drink."

Eileen Hayes, parenting expert and mother of four, said parents often worry they'll say the wrong thing, that it's too soon to talk about alcohol, or even that they've missed the boat. "But research shows that it's by no means inevitable that children will drink at a young age or to excess, and in fact, the worst thing parents can say to their kids about alcohol is nothing at all."