Young children and pre-teens

Talking to young children and pre-teens

You can start talking about alcohol and other drugs from an early age.

By using age-appropriate language and starting the conversation early, before kids reach high school, you can keep the door open for them to continue to ask questions as they enter adolescence.1

grandmother talking to young grandson

Some ways to start having this conversation with younger and pre-teen children can include:

  • using popular culture or the news as a conversation starter
  • when using a medicine (like paracetamol or antibiotics), explain to your child what the medicine is, why you’re using it, and why it’s important to follow the instructions and not take too much
  • asking in an open, curious and non-judgemental way, what they know or have heard about drugs or alcohol.

If you feel uncertain about where and when to have these conversations keep things casual and relaxed. It can help to have these talks while you’re doing something together, like watching TV, driving or walking the dog.

  1. Kids Health. Talking to Your Child About Drugs 2020 [13.10.2022].