Supporting parenthood

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Parents' guide board gives means and reasons to interfere in a child's intoxicant abuse.


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The guide board as text


- Have a conversation with your child and be ready to also listen.
- Set clear boundaries and follow them consistently.
- Do not buy or offer alcohol or cigarettes to a minor.
- Be ready to contemplate your own intoxicant use.
- Protect your child against the disadvantages of alcohol.


Have a conversation with your child and be ready to also listen

-    It is good to talk about intoxicants with a youth in a neutral way even before he or she starts using them. Subject matters that are dealt with in media give an easy starting point to a conversation on a general level.
-    A parent does not need to be an expert to talk about intoxicants with a youth. If, however, one feels the need for more information to support the conversation, it is available in, for instance, drug abuse counselling telephone 0800 900 45. or
-    Be open to conversation openings from a child or a youth. Judgemental attitude makes interaction difficult.


Set clear boundaries and follow them consistently

-    clear boundaries in relation to intoxicant use give a youth a reason to say no to intoxicants. It is important that the family follow the same rule. It is useful to discuss boundaries and rules with other parents as well.
-    An adolescent developes an addiction faster than an adult because the brain is still developing when you are young. Parents can decrease an adolescent's risk for an addiction by influencing an adolescent's surroundings with supervision and boundaries (Kemppinen 2004).


Do not buy alcohol or cigarettes to a minor

-    Providing alcohol for a minor is a crime, also parents commit a crime in doing so (alcohol legislation 8.12.1994/1143)
-    The adolescents who get alcohol at home drink more than those who do not get it (Marklund 1990).
-    Preventing smoking and alcohol use protects from drug experiments and use (Lönnqvist 2001).


Be ready to contemplate your own intoxicant use

-    The children and the adolescents absorb the attitudes and consumption patterns regarding alcohol from their own surroundings. Therefore, it is important to think how one uses alcohol when children are around. If you consider it proper to be a little intoxicated when you are with your children, would you be willing to accept that someone else who takes care of your children would be the same way?
-    A complete ban on smoking at home decreases a child's smoking significantly, even if parents smoke (Rainio, Rimpelä 2008).
-    If a child is worried about parents' intoxicant abuse, he or she can find support in


Protect your child against the disadvantages of alcohol

-    The younger one starts consuming alcohol, the more likely one consumes alcohol often and a lot at a time in adulthood. The risk for developing alcoholism is even five times smaller for those who start consuming alcohol only after they reach 18 years (Pitkänen, Lyyra, Pulkkinen 2005).
-    Alcohol use can cause permanent changes in the developing brain of a growing adolescent causing problems in, for instance, learning, remembering and emotional development (Fröjd, etc. 2009)



Fröjd, S., Kaltiala-Heino, R., Ranta, K., von der Pahlen, B. & Marttunen, M. (2009). Nuorten ahdistuneisuus ja päihteiden käyttö. Kemppinen, J. (2004). Nuoren aivot ja addiktiomuisti. Lönnqvist, J. (2001).
Nuoret ja huumeet: Yksi ei kokeilekaan, toinen jää koukkuun. Marklund, U. (1990). Att upptäcka sitt barn. Pitkänen, T., Lyyra, A-L. & Pulkkinen, L. (2005). Age of onset of drinking and the use of alcohol in adulthood: A follow-up study from age 8-42 for females and males. Rainio, S. & Rimpelä, A. (2008). Home smoking bans in Finland and the association with child smoking.


Publisher of the guide board and more information:

Elämä on Parasta Huumetta ry
Mäkelänkatu 49, 3.krs
00550 Helsinki

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