How do you use alcohol in the company of children?
In the company of children is a responsibility programme of Alko, Finland’s alcohol retail monopoly. The programme’s partners are the National Institute for Health and Welfare, a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs, the A–Clinic Foundation, which operates to reduce and care for alcohol, drug and other addiction problems, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, a non-governmental organisation that promotes children’s rights, and the Finnish Parents' League, which purpose is to combine the resources of parents in order to build a good learning and growing environment for all children and young people. The Finnish Parents' League has nearly 1 400 parents' association members.
The programme’s aim is to prevent and reduce the harm arising to children from adults’ misuse of alcohol.
Alcohol use is not every individual’s own business
Most people use alcohol considerately and without problems. Those who misuse alcohol are not completely to blame, however, for the problems caused by alcohol.
Even moderate use can be harmful – particularly when viewed through the eyes of a young person or child. Drinking interpreted as normal by an adult may easily induce feelings of insecurity, fear and shame in a child. This is quite simply wrong.
It’s true that the most visible harm to children arises from misuse of alcohol, but this does not free so-called normal users from responsibility. Alcohol use is not every individual’s own business, because an adult is always a role model. Adults’ response to alcohol and models for its use are transferred directly to the next generation.
All adults are the target group
From a children’s and young people’s perspective, there exists no single correct answer to how adults’ use of alcohol would be harmless. The programme also seeks to stimulate discussion on responsible alcohol use, and it offers both information and support to help people consider the issue for themselves. The target group are all adults – the ordinary man and woman in the street.