Starting a conversation about alcohol helps part I

Your child is growing. It gets a nice group of friends. Goes to a party every now and then. You are happy for your child that he is doing so well. Sooner or later alcohol will come into play. Parents often find it a difficult subject. One of the misconceptions about strict rules is that it could harm your relationship with your child. Learn more about these and other misconceptions.

First of all, this: the 'Research Station Survey on the Elderly 2019' shows that -compared to 2007- parents are stricter in 2019 with regard to their child's alcohol consumption. More parents (38%) have a 'don't drink-until 18th' appointment with their child in 2019 than in 2015 (29%). Source:

And that's great, because strict rules help. And no, your child will not drift away from you as a result. Here you can read more about the sense and nonsense of clear parenting rules regarding alcohol (and tobacco).

Statement 1: Rules endanger the good relationship I have with my child.

Do not worry. By setting rules, your relationship with your child will not deteriorate. It is very important to let your child know how you feel about drinking alcohol as a parent. The fact that you forbid it until the age of eighteen does not mean that it will happen. But you can limit alcohol consumption. And that's good, because research shows that setting strict rules is not only effective in delaying starting drinking, but also in reducing alcohol consumption once young people start drinking.

Tips on talking to your child about his alcohol use

- Raise the subject regularly. Talk about it while doing the dishes or while you're in the car. Ask about your child's and his or her friends' alcohol use.

-Take a topical issue from the news around the theme of alcohol and use it as a reason for your conversation.

- Make sure you are well prepared for an interview. So know what you are talking about when you say that alcohol is extra harmful to young people. Here You will find more information about alcohol and its effect on young people.

-Read more tips here.

Statement 2: Forbidding something actually makes it more attractive.

You would think so huh? The harder you forbid it, the greater its attraction. However, we would like to nuance this somewhat. Children and adolescents thrive on rules and are often told that something is not allowed. Banning alone is not the trick either, it is especially important that you continue the conversation about alcohol use. Listen to your child, take him/her seriously and, above all, explain why certain rules apply. Indicate that it is harmful to the brain that is still developing until the age of 25.


Next time we will present three more statements regarding alcohol and parenting.



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