With thousands of young people receiving exam results this summer, the Public Health Agency (PHA) wishes to remind parents of the value of talking to their child about alcohol.
Victoria Creasy, Senior Manager for Public Health at the PHA says: “Alcohol is a huge part of our culture and there is a strong link between starting to drink at a young age and problem alcohol use as an adult.”
“Parents often underestimate the influence they have on their children. They can play a vital role in supporting them to lead happy and constructive lives. By discussing with their children the risks of drinking, they can have a positive impact on their attitudes towards alcohol and help prevent their child developing problems with alcohol as they grow up. ”
• Make the first move and bring up the topic of alcohol. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to talk
• Take time to listen to what they have to say
• Respect their views if you want the same in return
• Discuss the risks associated with drinking alcohol
• Discuss possible consequences of their actions and support them to make the right choices
• Assume your child doesn’t want to talk. Not talking to your child about alcohol could be interpreted as your approval of them drinking.
• Assume they already know everything
• Interrupt or be judgmental, even if you don’t agree with their opinion.
There are more handy tips on talking to your child about drinking in the booklet You, Your Child and Alcohol, which is available from GP surgeries, pharmacies and the PHA website.
Contact PHA Press Office, Ormeau Avenue on 028 9031 1611.
Notes to the editor
Notes to Editors:
You, your child and alcohol campaign is to encourage parents to talk to their children about alcohol and runs until the end of August 2010. It is part of a campaign developed by the Public Health Agency, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Department of Justice and the Northern Ireland Policing Board to tackle the issue of underage drinking.
For more tips on talking to your child about alcohol you can go to http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/you-your-child-and-alcohol
For support and advice for parents, contact the Parents’ Advice Centre confidential and free helpline on 0808 8010 722 or go to www.parentsadvicecentre.org
For information for adults on alcohol go to www.knowyourlimits.info
If you are worried about poor mental health, either your own or that of your child, or interested in maintaining good mental health, go to www.mindingyourhead.info
If you are in distress or despair, contact Lifeline, a free and confidential 24 hour helpline on 0808 808 8000.