Tell it straight!
Working Group on Alcohol and Responsibility / Bundesverband der Deutschen Spirituosen-Industrie und -Importeure e.V.
2005 > Ongoing
To inform, motivate and support parents and guardians to fulfil their important role in educating their children about alcohol and responsible consumption.
Parents play a key part in setting an example for children and adolescents when it comes to the socialisation of consumption patterns of alcoholic beverages. This makes it very important to reinforce parenting skills by means of targeted prevention work.
“Klartext reden!” (Tell it straight!) is an initiative promoting alcohol prevention in families launched in December 2005 by the BSI Working Group on Alcohol and Responsibility and the BundesElternRat (Federal Council of Parents).
The initiative has five main elements:
- Workshops for parents held at school
- “Klartext reden!” leaflet
- Supporting website and social media channel
- Online training for parents
- Accompanying evaluation
The workshops for parents focus on practical guidance and how to deal with difficult questions like addressing the subject of alcohol so that a child will listen, setting a credible example when it comes to consuming alcohol, and imposing effective limits. The workshops last between 90-120 minutes, are offered nationwide and are held by independent addiction and prevention experts.
A website with training units for parents was added in March 2010. The four units – for parents of children in four different age groups – provide guidance on how best to talk with children about alcohol. Each unit ends with a multiple choice test, after which parents can download a guide with information selected to match their specific needs.
The website and training unit became even more attractive and user-friendly from 2012 with the addition of three training videos, which are also to be found on YouTube. In addition, two videos with Prof. Dr. Martina Leibovici-Mühlberger, practising physician and psychotherapist, have been available online since 2017.
Since June 2015, a Facebook page has provided up-to-date information, topical postings and similar for parents and other interested users, and also serves as a virtual extension of the workshops beyond the evenings on which they are held (questions, lessons learned, etc.).
As part of the initiative, various regional activities were launched in 2019, 2020 and 2021, a number of them with political figures as their patrons (see attached document).
Cooperation with Bundeselternrat (Federal Council of Parents)
Bundesverband der Deutschen Klein- und Obstbrenner
Bundesverband der Obstverschlussbrenner
From launch until December 2021:
- Workshops: 318 workshops and 1 webinar have been held. There has been a total of 8,028 attendees in all workshops to date and the average workshop size is 25 parents/guardians.
- Online training: Since March 2010, 108,296 parents have used the online training and the section has had 258,720 page views.
- The website has had a total of 453,856 users and over 1.5 million page views in total.
- The Facebook page has gained 1,205 followers since its launch. The 41 posts in 2020/2021 reached a total of 831,310 Facebook users.
- Printed Materials: Around 50,000 leaflets have been produced in total.
- Media coverage: there were 2 radio broadcasts, 12 printed articles and 32 online articles about the initiative in 2019/2020/2021.
- Since February 2022: new video with example situation from family life on the internet.
Measurement & evaluation
Evaluation in 2020: On the basis of the evaluation in 2020, the “Klartext reden!” workshops meet parents’ needs and aim to strengthen their self-efficacy expectation.
For the first stage, 167 participants at 14 parents’ workshops in 2019 and 2020 filled out a questionnaire with questions about prior knowledge, parenting skills, needs and their motivation for taking part. An analysis of the status-quo surveys conducted at the beginning of each workshop provided additional information about parents’ self-efficacy expectation with regard to problems that their children may have in relation to alcohol:
- Before a workshop, around 34% of parents are not quite sure what to do should problems arise. 29.9% consider themselves only moderately well equipped to set their child clear limits with regard to alcohol. 28.7% only “sometimes” feel well prepared to talk about alcohol. The workshops address these problems and identify specific recommendations for action with the parents.
- Based on the level of agreement with statements on specific topics, parents can be divided into two groups: One group with a high overall self-efficacy expectation and another whose self-efficacy expectation tends to be less pronounced. Mothers are represented in high self-efficacy expectation group significantly more frequently than fathers. Interestingly, younger parents under 45 years of age belong more frequently to the high self-efficacy expectation group, with the frequency falling with increasing age. Conversely, a high level of education level among parents tends to be more frequently associated with a lower self-efficacy expectation. The findings suggest that a high education level tends to lead to insecurity about one’s own parenting skills.
In a second stage of the evaluation, conducted as an online survey, parents are asked again for their assessment on the same topics six weeks after taking part in the workshops. Initial analysis of 51 responses to the follow-up survey shows a consistently positive trend, which needs to be tested for statistical significance against a larger number of cases. At almost all levels, parents judged their self-efficacy expectations and their parenting skills to be significantly better after attending the workshops.
Since 2011, a link to the “Klartext-Elterntraining” (training unit for parents) is also provided on the website of “Eltern”, the German parenting magazine (here).
The “Klartext reden!” initiative is also linked to from the “Jugendschutz aktiv” website (promoting the protection of minors) operated by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (here).
The “Klartext-Elterntraining” has been successfully implemented on the Deutscher Bildungsserver (German Education Server) website (here). Deutscher Bildungsserver is a specialised online education portal featuring information and training for parents as well as teachers and trainers.