The Talk alcohol campaign has been launched in Derbyshire to help parents understand the implications of alcohol and how their behaviour towards drinking alcohol can impact their children.

The campaign aims to help parents have a conversation with their child about alcohol anytime from the age of 7 in order to help their children understand the consequences of drinking alcohol and help tackle the number of emergency alcohol admissions to A&E in under 18’s in the Derbyshire area.

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"If Mum always gets drunk with her mates, I'm gonna think it's normal."

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  • The role of parents’ alcohol consumption cannot be underestimated. Both consciously and subconsciously young people are emulating their parents drinking behaviour.
  • Parents are not fully aware of the impact they have on their children’s alcohol consumption - they believe that parental drinking can influence children’s drinking behaviour but do not believe they drink in a way that would have a negative impact. They do not associate their own behaviour with the impact on children.
  • Giving children alcohol does not prevent risky behaviour. The survey conducted with young people suggests that whilst children are introduced to alcohol with their parents at home, as they are growing up they are still engaging in risky activities, such as drinking alcohol in the park.
  • Parents are creating an environment for their children where alcohol is socially acceptable; their social media posts about ‘popping prosecco’ and ‘gin o’clock’ perpetuate notions of drinking as culturally acceptable. Cocktails are even being provided for adults at children’s parties.
  • Young people do have a comprehensive understanding of the risks associated with alcohol but their motivations to drink override this knowledge; it is an emotional not a rational decision.

"If Mum and Dad drink every day, I'm gonna think it's normal."

Q&A

How to have a conversation with your child
The best advice here is to be honest, and not make alcohol a taboo subject, so if from an early age, when young people are more receptive (age 7-8 years) to allow the topic to be discussed and be honest with the responses. This sets the precedent for when a young person is older that they can communicate about the subject. So what alcohol is, why people drink and how it can affect them and also about moderation and how the parents keep themselves safe with their own drinking as young people can often model parent/career behaviour.
Providing alcohol for your kids to take to parties
There is no evidence that supports alcohol use under 18 due to the impact it has on a young persons development.
The effects of alcohol on your childs brain function
A young person’s brain is still developing until around age 18-21 years and some evidence will state around 25 years. So alcohol use can hinder this development. Alcohol affects the area in the brain that is responsible for memory so can impact on this, it also affects the brain stem which, simply put, is responsible for breathing/heart beating and so drinking vast amounts of alcohol quickly can impact on the young person’s automatic functions. One of the biggest things seen is that alcohol affects decision making due to how it impacts on the frontal lobe, this can have the biggest impact on young people as they may make decisions while intoxicated that impact their future. They are also extremely vulnerable. As everyone develops differently one drink may affect one young person whereas another young person may handle two drinks.
Should my kids be drinking at special occasions
There is no evidence that supports alcohol use under 18 due to the impact it has on a young persons development.
Is it ok to let my child try alcohol?
There is no evidence that supports alcohol use under 18 due to the impact it has on a young persons development.

"If Mum can't wait for wine o'clock, I'm gonna think it's normal."

Need More Help?

For further help and information please visit the Alcohol Concern website.

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