Why You Should Talk to Your Kids About Alcohol Before This Year’s Super Bowl

by Joseph Byrum

Every year, approximately 100 million people watch the Super Bowl on their TVs. Some people tune in for the sport, but if you’re like me you watch for the commercials. Almost as talked about as the winner of the event are the memorable and funny ads that are replayed for weeks after the Super Bowl has concluded. On average, there are 45 minutes of commercials during the largest sporting event in the U.S. Considering each 30-second ad in 2022 cost $6.5 million, it’s easy to see the world of Super Bowl advertisement is a massive business. 

One product you can’t avoid seeing during the Super Bowl: alcohol. It’s everywhere, and with nearly 30 million underage viewers each year, the constant in-your-face alcohol ads have the potential to be dangerous for many of them. According to a study from JAMA Pediatrics, teens who are exposed to these commercials are more likely to drink underage and engage in binge drinking. 

How can you prevent the youth in your life from underage drinking? Below are tips on what you can do to prevent underage drinking:

  1. Don’t provide alcohol to minors. It is never a good time to give your children alcoholic drinks. You may believe it is safe if you are providing them alcohol in the safety of your own home, but research shows that teens who drink underage are much more likely to become alcohol dependent versus those who wait until they’re 21. 
  2. Talk to your children early and often. About 10% of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol. That number jumps to 50% for 15-year-olds. The sooner you begin discussions with your children, the better. Despite popular belief, children do listen to their parents and having open and honest discussions is the best way to prevent your child from underage drinking. Here are some tips on how to talk to your children at any age. 
  3. Model healthy choices. Teens learn what it means to be a person who drinks by watching you. This doesn’t mean you as an adult can’t drink, but you should make sure you are doing it in a healthy way that sets an example for when your teens are adults. If you only drink when you’re angry or sad, your children will believe they can use alcohol to solve their problems. 

The best thing you can do is be open and honest. Have regular discussions and show the youth in your life that you care about their health and well-being.