Drinking alcohol and under 18? Not a good idea.

26 Nov 2021 / Topical / Background

Drinking under the age of 18 is prohibited by law. And there's a good reason for that. But drinking and young people is a tricky thing. The attraction is great and the temptations are endless. Read here why it is important for young people to stop drinking alcohol until they are eighteen and how you can encourage this as an educator.

Until about the age of twenty-five, your brain is still developing. Your brain works fastest when you are seventeen. You are then at your best when it comes to learning new things and, for example, making connections quickly. Because the brains are far from being fully grown before you are eighteen, they are extra sensitive to alcohol. By drinking alcohol at a young age, young people can develop complaints such as concentration problems, sleep disorders and poor memory.

Not inside, not outside, nowhere

It is a misconception to think that as a parent you have less influence on your child at some point. Of course his or her world is getting bigger and yes, friends, peers and even advertisements and influencers also influence the way your child thinks, but by far the most influence is you as an educator.

Another misconception is that drinking is better done at home and therefore 'controlled'. Letting your child and his or her friends drink at home even lowers the threshold. In other words, young people are more likely to drink out of the house and drink more.

Research shows that children of parents who drink are more likely to start drinking (at a younger age) and to drink larger amounts of alcohol later in life.

Tips for educators

What can you as a parent do to prevent your child from drinking alcohol before he or she is eighteen?

- Drink as little as possible in front of your child(ren).

-Prohibit alcohol until a certain age (NIX18).

- Make sure there is no alcohol available or in the house.

- Make concrete agreements with each other about alcohol use.

This is how you make appointments

It is important that you are clear. A clear agreement can be: you don't drink before you are 18the. Not even at home. Not even with friends. Not even at Christmas. Not even on Tuesday. Just no.

-Agree on possible consequences. What if your child does drink (too much)? What happens then?

-Discuss possible situations your child may find themselves in. How can your child deal with this?

-Prevention is better than cure. Educate your child about the consequences of alcohol consumption. Talk about it and let us know what you think.

Are you looking for more information about how to start a conversation about alcohol with your child? Then read the article: 'Tips for a good conversation' on alcoholinfo.nl.

Source: Houtensnieuws.nl / Seeing drinking makes drinking


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