Discuss alcohol with your child

What do you do when alcohol takes over your life, and you reach for the bottle more often than you’d like to handle social situations? It happens to former sales manager Saskia van der Zee (45 years old), until in 2017 she decided to live a sober life from now on. She visits rehab, stops drinking and trades a sales job to become a trainer at her own company: Happy Sober. She blogs about her experience with JAN. This week: How do you discuss alcohol with your kids?

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“Mom, are you going to tell me not to drink alcohol?” I recently asked one of my kids. I may have been sober for over 5 years and made many changes in my life, but this is still a difficult topic among parents and teens. Many radio commercials and other media keep repeating that NIX 18 is for a reason. Because young brains are still developing. When I tell them it is better for them not to drink, not even a little, they think it is hypocrisy coming from me. And of course I get that in a way, but that means I sometimes have to work out how I want to communicate this to them, or at least make it negotiable.

absence of security

My insecurities also get in the way of me at such a moment. I think they noticed me. I am afraid that my credibility will be questioned and that they will not accept it from me. At the same time, I want to move away from feeling like a kind of “Mother Teresa”, and explain the negative consequences of alcohol. For the sake of simplicity, I assume every parent starts a conversation with their child about alcohol and drug use; I guess I’m not the only one who brought up this topic. It is now widely available everywhere. In addition, the fake IDexchanged. This makes it easier for young people to obtain alcohol.

Seeing drinking makes drinking. It has been proven that when children see their parents drinking at an early age, they will begin to experience alcohol at a younger age. As a parent, I have experienced that this cycle can be broken by putting this topic on the table. Often the responsibility lies with the parents. If you don’t do the job, and your child may get in trouble because of an alcohol or drug use problem, it’s not directly the child’s fault. Let’s be honest, the apple doesn’t usually fall far from the tree. We as parents have more influence than we often think.


Research shows that susceptibility to addiction is partly genetic. It may mean that one of my children also has this weakness. In addition to genetics, personal and environmental factors also play a role. Of course I don’t want to burden them with that, but it ensures that I try to keep an eye on it. If we go out to dinner and my daughter wants to have a glass of wine, that’s fine. She herself thinks that she is uncomfortable, because then she feels my eyes. She drinks, of course, but is well aware of her relationship to alcohol. This way she feels where her limit is and can say “no” when that’s enough.

to leave of

She knows the negative experiences of alcohol like no other, which is why her relationship with alcohol may differ from that of her friends. Luckily, when she’s at a party, she can let it go and have fun too. this is important. Also the advantages is that if she has a hangover she calls me first for tips on how to get rid of it quickly. I certainly appreciate her honesty. The model role that I used to completely ignore, I have now shown for a few years. I’m glad I was able to handle my responsibilities at this juvenile stage.

A coach and expert by experience, Saskia van der Zee guides people with an alcohol or drug problem through her own company, Happy Sober. She helps clients restore balance in life, make healthy choices and get closer to themselves. For more information, go to www.happysober.nl Follow Saskia on Instagram @happysober.life.

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