Parents have been asked to set a good example and think about the impact their drinking may have on their kids this New Year’s Eve.
The Chair of DrinkWise, a joint government-industry organisation focussed on a safe drinking culture, Trish Worth, has reminded parents that children look to them as role models.
“They observe parents’ behaviour and thiscan have a significant bearing on how they view the consumption of alcohol later in life,” Ms Worth said.
“Children stay up later on New Year’s Eve to celebrate with their family, so ourmessage to parents is to enjoy yourself, but remember that your kids are watching and observing your behaviour. Your actions can have an impact on how your children view the consumption of alcohol as they grow older.”
The recent Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey that shows the prevalence of drinking by minors (12-17 year olds) has fallen in recent years, but that more needs to be done to educate children about the effects of alcohol consumption.
“The latest research is encouraging, with the number of 12-17 year olds who had consumed alcohol in the past seven days reducing from 28.6 per cent in 2005 to 17.4per cent in 2011,” Ms Worth said.
“Significantly, alcohol consumption by younger adolescents (12-15 years old) hadnearly halved over the same period.
“However, alarmingly of 12-17 year olds who are drinking, more than a third (36.4
per cent) indicate their intention is to get drunk most times or every time theyconsume alcohol. Clearly there is more work to be done, particularly in educating young people about the dangers of drinking at risky levels.”
The ASSAD survey also showed that of the 12-17 year olds who had consumed analcohol drink, a third (32.9 per cent) had been supplied alcohol by their parents, again highlighting the role that parents play in creating their children’s perception of alcohol.
Ms Worth said the aim of DrinkWise is to make a cultural change in the way Australians approach drinking, and to foster a more responsible drinking culture and ultimately a safer and healthiercommunity.