One in four of the children interviewed said their parents had never talked to them about alcohol.
A Department for Children, Families and Schools study suggests children from heavy-drinking households are more likely to use alcohol themselves.
It also found that eight out of 10 parents had no pre-planned strategies to tackle irresponsible drinking by their children.
While the majority of parents said they were fully aware of their child’s drinking habits, one in 10 said they were unaware if their child had drunk alcohol.
The research is being published as part of a campaign to tackle under-age drinking.
Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said: “Today’s research shows that parents underestimate their influence over their child’s drinking and attitudes to alcohol, yet a quarter of young people have never spoken to their parents about the issue.
“That’s why through the Why Let Drink Decide? campaign we are giving parents and young people the confidence to have open conversations about alcohol, to ultimately delay the age at which young people start drinking.”
We say talk to your children now and if you need some help of where to start check out our Teen Conversation Cards