Let’s allow children’s hobbies to be alcohol-free time

The A Child’s Burden campaign seeks to spark off debate about whether even moderate alcohol consumption is appropriate in all circumstances, such as those involving children’s hobbies.

An estimated 70,000 Finnish children grow up in a family in which at least one parent has a serious alcohol or drug problem. These children and young people also participate in sports and hobby groups. A study* shows that more than half of those aged 9-15 took part in club activities in 2016. A personal hobby can provide a child whose family drinks too much with an important respite from their daily life in the shadow of alcohol. Adults who generally consume alcohol in moderation but occasionally indulge without heeding the needs of children can be problematic.

For many years, Alko has provided support through the Finnish Olympic Committee for sports clubs whose activities seek to promote active lifestyles and the prevention of alcohol and intoxicant use among young people. Adults active in sports serve as important role models for young people. Studies show that preteens are the most susceptible to influences. At that age, the environment plays a major role in the development of the child. Preteens seek others to identify with from among their friends and adults alike. For many, their coach is the greatest role model and as such has a large influence.

Further information:

Sukupolvien sillat ja kasvamisen karikot - vanhemmat, lapset ja alkoholi -kirja (In Finnish, abstracts in English)

*LIITU-study (In Finnish, abstract in English)