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Parents

 

Top tips for talking to your child about Alcohol

 

Be informed

Make  sure you understand what effects alcohol can have. This helps you to  have a calm and informed conversation with your child. Alcohol can  affect young people differently to adults and it is important that your  child is aware of the effects alcohol can have on their body and  decision making.

 

Be clear on your own values and boundaries

It's  important for your child to know where you stand on alcohol. Be clear  about your opinions and agree ground rules with other family members.

 

Pick your moments

Avoid  trying to talk to your child when you believe they have been drinking  or as they are rushing out the door. Choose a time when you are both  calm and not distracted.

 

It's never too early to talk about drink

It's  a good idea to start talking about drinking before your child starts  experimenting with alcohol. Be age appropriate, with young children you  might discuss the visual effects of alcohol such as hangovers, as they  get older you may discuss peer pressure and explore ways to deal with  it.
If your older child is already experimenting with alcohol it  is important that you discuss the risks when drinking and ways of  staying safe. Be honest and discuss the good and bad points of alcohol.  Your child is likely to be far more receptive if you are open and listen  to what they have to say.

 

Know who their friends are

A  key indicator that your child may be misusing alcohol is if their  friends are. Peer pressure is one of the most powerful factors in  determining whether or not your child will misuse alcohol. Find out who  their friends are, invite them round and take an interest in their  lives.

 

Let them know you're always there for them

If your  child feels that you will always be there to talk to them, support them  and will love them unconditionally they will be more likely to open up  to you.

 

Listen and persevere

Try not to preach to your  child, instead listen to what they have to say. If they argue or storm  off, revisit the subject later at a time when they are calmer.

 

Staying safe

Alcohol  can expose young people to increased risks. Make sure that you know  where your child is going, who with and how they are getting home. Ensure that they know how to keep themselves and their friends safe by:

  • Letting people know where they are going
  • Planning how they are getting home before they go out
  • Having a backup should things go wrong
  • Staying with their mates when out
  • NEVER walking anywhere alone at night
  • Keeping mobile phone credit topped up
  • NEVER driving under the influence of alcohol or getting in a car with a driver who has been drinking
  • Knowing their limits
  • Eating before they go out and having non-alcoholic alternatives between alcoholic drinks

Alcohol  misuse can and does increase vulnerability for our children. Keeping  safe is a vital part in seeing our young people through this time in  their life.


 

Top tips for talking to your child about drugs

 

Be informed

Make  sure you understand what drugs are, the common names, effects etc. This  way you can have a calm and informed conversation with your child. www.talktofrank.com will be able to provide the most up to date and comprehensive information.

 

Pick your moments

If  the subject comes up naturally you are likely to get a better response  and more interest from your child. Try bringing up the subject when it  is mentioned on a TV programme or on the news. Don't try to talk to your  child as they are rushing out of the door or are in your opinion, under  the influence of drugs, this is more likely to end in an argument.

 

Be clear on your own values and boundaries

It's  important for your child to know where you stand on drug taking. Be  clear about your opinion on drugs so that they know your boundaries.

 

It's never too early to talk about drugs

It's  a good idea to start talking about the issue before your child starts  experimenting with drugs. Try to be age appropriate - a young child  won't understand what illegal drugs are but you can talk about the  differences between drugs that help your body and those that don't. As  your child gets older you can be more specific and talk about different  drugs and what they can do to you.

 

Avoid scare tactics

Try  to give realistic facts about what drugs can do to their body e.g.  paranoia, memory loss. Telling a child/teenager that, "drugs will kill  you" won't give them a realistic view and they are likely to ignore any  advice given.

 

Know who their friends are

A key indicator  that your child is at risk of taking drugs is if their friends are. Peer  pressure is the single most powerful factor in determining whether or  not your child will take drugs. Find out who their friends are, invite  them round and take an interest in their lives.

 

Let them know you're always there for them

If  your child feels that you will always be there to talk to them, support  them and will love them unconditionally they will be more likely to  open up to you.

 

Listen and persevere

Try not to preach to  your child, instead listen to what they have to say. If they argue or  storm off, revisit the subject later at a time when they are calmer.

 

Make sure they know that the responsibility of their actions rests with them

You  are trying to help your child make good choices in life about drugs.  But only they can say "no" to drugs. Be sure they know you support them,  but emphasise that it's up to them to make the decision to not take  drugs.

 

Don't panic

It's common for teenagers to experiment  with drugs. If you find that your child has tried drugs, your first  reaction may be anger or panic. Wait until you are calm before  discussing it with them, and do so in a way that shows your love and  concern rather than anger.
Remember that only a very small proportion of those who experiment with drugs will develop a drug problem.

General Enquiries
Drinksense Central Office
79a Eastfield Road
Peterborough, PE1 4AS
 
T: 01733 555532
F: 01733 555531
DDS Young People Team
79a Eastfield Road
Peterborough, PE1 4AS
 
T: 01733 567998
F: 01733 555531
 
 
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