Parents best to educate kids and teens on responsible drinking Back to news

22nd September 2011

Anheuser-Busch InBev UK launches Family Talk UK: with advice from the Mumsnet community to help parents start the conversation about alcohol and responsible drinking


LONDON, 22 September 2011: Anheuser-Busch InBev UK (AB InBev UK) is today revealing research by Populus and Mumsnet on young people and responsible drinking.

The survey has found that parents are the most respected source of advice for educating young people about alcohol. They are considered to have more than three times the potential to influence the amount young people drink than teachers or even health advisers (31% compared to 9% and 9% respectively). Ninety percent of people questioned agreed that educating young people about alcohol is essential if they are to drink responsibly. [1].

To help, AB InBev UK is today launching a new initiative – Family Talk UK – to support parents seeking to educate their children on responsible drinking.

Family Talk UK launches on Facebook with a collection of tips and videos to help parents start the conversation about alcohol and responsible drinking. Featuring advice from the Mumsnet community, the content is designed to encourage discussion between parents.

The research indicates that the most respected source of advice for parents educating young people about alcohol is other parents (37%). The most useful resource would be a website where parents can share tips and suggestions from their own experiences of talking to children about alcohol (82%) [1].

Polling shows 86% percent of people in the UK find it worrying how many young people drink alcohol underage and 77% feel that young people are under a lot of pressure to do so [1]. With almost three quarters (73%) of parents with a child aged 8 or older having broached the subject of alcohol and responsible drinking with their child or teen, other parents are a great source of expertise for the 27% who have yet to raise the subject with their children [1,2].

Drawing on insights from an open forum of the Mumsnet community where parents responded to a number of scenarios and dilemmas, such as how to deal with your teen arriving home drunk and how to react to alcohol going missing in the home, ten “Top Tips” for parents have been identified. The tips include guidance such as “Be open and honest” and “Take a balanced view: be reasonable not confrontational.”

AB InBev UK believes the new Family Talk UK platform will help parents to discuss the effects and role of alcohol openly with their child or teen, and encourage them to make their own sensible decisions. Of the parents surveyed, 70% first talked to their child about alcohol between the ages of 7 and 12 years [2].

All of the videos and tips will be hosted on

Carrie Longton co-founder of Mumsnet, said:

“Working out what to say when you’re trying to talk to your kids about alcohol and responsible drinking can be difficult.  As with every aspect of parenting nobody has all the answers so we’re encouraging parents to speak to each other. Parents on Mumsnet are always getting advice and support from each other and it’s good to see AB InBev UK realising the value of parents sharing experiences and information.”

Stuart MacFarlane, President, AB InBev UK, said:

We take our role as a responsible brewer extremely seriously. We work hard to play our part in encouraging responsible drinking, but we recognise that it is parents who have the greatest influence on their children’s attitudes to alcohol. We also know that many parents find it difficult to talk about alcohol with their children. Through our Family Talk UK programme we are working with Mumsnet to create a collection of tips and videos to help parents start the conversation about alcohol and responsible drinking.”

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive, Drinkaware, said:

“Being a parent can be a tough job. So encouraging parents to share their experiences is a positive way to reinforce the fact they have more influence than they think when it comes to their children and alcohol.  We know that many children want to speak to their parents first about issues like alcohol, so parents need the confidence not to feel daunted by their children’s tricky questions. Drinkaware offers parents the facts to be able to start conversations about alcohol with their children before their teen years and continue these into young adulthood.  Our new campaign, launching later this month will compliment the Family Talk UK programme and offer parents access to medically verified information about the effects of alcohol on children and offer tips and advice on how to broach the topic.”

Helena Conibear, Director of The Alcohol Education Trust, said:

“We recognise the important role that parents play in setting a good example and encouraging their children to drink responsibly. We know it can be a tricky subject for parents to broach for the first time, and that they have the most influence regarding the age at which their teenagers start drinking and how much.   So we applaud AB In-Bev UK’s initiative to get parents talking to each other about how to start the conversation. At  the Alcohol Education Trust, via   it’s our business to inform and educate parents on responsible and moderate drinking – Family Talk UK is a great new way of reaching young people and equipping parents with the tools they need to do this too.”


Dr Knut Schroeder, GP and Author:

“This is a great initiative as it is important for parents to feel comfortable discussing issues around alcohol with their children.  In order to do this effectively, it’s essential that they feel well informed and knowledgeable about the subject themselves.  Lots of information about alcohol is available on the NHS Choices website, which is always a great place to start.”

Simon Carter Assistant Director The Scout Association said:


“We support the production of resources like Family Talk UK that encourage adults to talk positively and realistically with young people about responsible drinking. In Scouting we find that providing young people with clear information and advice and a chance to talk the issues through with a responsible adult helps them make positive decisions about how they live their lives.”


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For further information or interview requests, please contact: 


Jenny Craig – [email protected] / 0207 842 0159

Tim Smith – [email protected] / 0207 842 0131



Notes to editors

Ten Top Tips from Mumsnetters for parents to start the conversation about responsible drinking


  1. Be open and honest2
  2. Make it a discussion
  3. Keep it factual
  4. Bring the facts to life
  5. Outline your concerns and explain the consequences
  6. Take a balanced view: be reasonable not confrontational
  7. Tailor your talk to the child
  8. Try not to patronise teens
  9. Lead by example
  10. Most of all: reinforce your support for them


[1] Populus – commissioned by AB InBev UK – interviewed 2,051 adults in Great Britain between the 16th and 18th September.  Results have been weighted to be representative of adults in Great Britain.  Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  For more information see

[2] Mumsnet – commissioned by AB InBev UK – interviewed 1001 parents in the UK between 1 August and 8 September.


About Mumsnet

Mumsnet is the UK’s busiest network for parents, generating over 30 million page impressions per month with over 200 local sites and a network of bloggers. It regularly campaigns on issues including support for families with SEN, improvements in miscarriage care and freedom of speech on the Internet.

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