Grandparents are pretty important people in teenagers’ lives. They’re there to help clarify issues and concerns, and hopefully encourage their grandchildren towards constructive stress-relievers.
Research shows that the greatest influence on a teen’s decision to drink or not, is their immediate community — which includes parents, other influential adults, and importantly, their grandparents.
As a grandparent, there’s plenty you can do to ensure your grandchild’s transition towards adulthood is a healthy one. You can talk about the upsides and downsides of drinking in an open and matter of fact manner. Even if your grandchild hasn’t had an alcoholic drink, it’s important that they understand the effects of alcohol and your family’s expectations.
In their grandchild’s life, grandparents – like parents – have an important role to play. This includes:
- Drinking responsibly in front of your grandchildren, no matter what their age. Remember to use your influence for good.
- Showing them that you can have a good time socialising without drinking.
- Support your grandkids in a nonjudgmental way. If they trust you, they will talk to you. Often simply starting the conversation is the hardest part.
In the video below, grandfather John Bertrand discusses the important role grandparents can play. To assist parents, grandparents and other influential adults to talk to their teens about alcohol, DrinkWise has developed the DELAY 5-point plan.