Information and conversation tips

You want to discuss alcohol, cannabis use or gaming behaviour. You think that Moti4 or Moti55 is an appropriate intervention for your child, loved one or the young people/adult in your guidance.

How do you handle this? We are happy to give you some tips!

What to do

Increase care

Put your concern on the table. Avoid an accusatory tone, as all your concerns may not be justified. When you say, “I'm worried about you, it could be that…”, the person feels that you care about him/her and his or her well-being. Expressing your concern already has a preventive effect! Of course you want to find out whether your concern is shared. Be prepared that the other person may be much less concerned about their own substance use or gaming behavior. Discuss this difference, listen to each other and try to increase the care of the other. The moment the other person thinks: “It could indeed be a little less”, you know that motivation for change has started.

Also talk about the pleasant side

We are sometimes inclined to only zoom in on the negative sides of substance use or gaming. And even if it's hard to talk about the positives, you don't want to avoid this! After all, there is a reason why your child or loved one / the client does use excessive gamet or substances in your supervision. By taking this seriously, you help the other person better to make a consideration and to increase motivation for change. It also gives you something to hold on to in a subsequent conversation in the search for alternative behaviour. So focus on the why instead of the why not. 

Talk about direct consequences

When you discuss the negative sides of substance use or gaming behavior, you want to make sure that you talk about the negative consequences that have a direct impact. Not having money for that one savings goal, because everything is spent on weed or not being able to receive family visits because of a hangover can have a greater negative impact on the perception of the other person than the consequences for health in the longer term. So make it concrete! Moreover, in a follow-up meeting, this again provides a basis for concrete agreements. Think of budgeting finances or agreements about performing responsible tasks.

Lead by example and talk about your own use too

In conversation, the other person may ask about your own substance or media use. Be honest about this! It helps if you talk about your own experiences and especially how you make sure to deal with them responsibly. If you do not want to have an open conversation about this, this can have the opposite effect, with the other also closing in on his or her use.

What you should not do

Don't investigate

If you want to see behavioral change, it is less important with whom, what time, where, on what day and time than the why. So try not to fall into the trap of investigating. Young people in particular are very protective of their friends, or do not always dare to tell the truth immediately. So when you have found a bag of weed, rather ask why he/she uses weed. And suppose he or she indicates that it is not his or hers, but is saving it for a friend – also discuss why you choose to do this instead of the contrary (“I don't believe you, it is yours") to prove. In escalation, the conversation will shut down. You want to keep the conversation open (once confronted with substance use). That's not to say you shouldn't set a boundary.

Banning alone won't help

“I don't want it and that's it!” can cause the other person to secretly do the undesirable behavior. That means even less grip for you as an educator, relative or supervisor. That's not to say you shouldn't set rules. But make this more concrete than a general ban. Think of times about going out, coming home, performing responsible tasks, etc. In addition, discuss substance use or gaming regularly (not every day!). That way you let them know that you are watching, without falling into a ban/control routine. Continuing to talk about it increases care, helps to make good decisions and helps to build trust with each other.

Name the visible behavior

Sometimes educators, relatives or counselors indicate (in the case of substance use) that they find it difficult to talk about it when they cannot prove that substance use is indeed taking place. Our suggestion is therefore to let go of this (again, the investigation) and to discuss the visible behavior that gives rise to concern (this also applies in the case of gaming). For example: not getting out of bed, absenteeism, looking tired, eating poorly or eating kicks, having a short fuse, debts or an abrupt change of group of friends. Our formula for a signaling interview is: share your concern – indicate what you see in behavior – ask whether your suspicions of substance use or excessive gaming are justified. In any case, avoid the accusatory tone as much as possible to keep the conversation from slamming.

Moti4 and Moti55 is not a punishment

Finally, it is important to emphasize that Moti4 or Moti55 should not be used as a punishment. Of course it can be a consequence that you as an educator or supervisor or family member as a result of an incident. But Moti is there to help, not punish. Explain to the other person – when he or she indicates that you as an educator, family member or counselor in particular have a problem with his or her substance use/gaming behavior – that he or she can allay concerns by working here with an expert in the field of stimulants and gaming to talk about.

What to keep in mind

Finally, we give you some tips to keep in mind.

Remember that (in the case of a young person) your worlds of experience can be miles apart (not to mention puberty). Where you oversee the negative consequences in the long term and have a sense of health, the young person is much more concerned with the here and now. If you want to be well prepared, it is wise to bring your knowledge about resources or gaming up to date. Also, choose a suitable time for the conversation. Take, for example, current affairs. And of course: listen to each other! The moment emotions run high, stop the conversation and pick it up again later.

If, after reading these tips, you would like to spar with a prevention worker live, by telephone or by email, this is of course possible. On our Moti overview map you will find exactly where a prevention department is located in your area. You can find this on our contact page.

Useful sites

Talking about drugs and alcohol or empathizing with the motives of your loved one or client is not always easy or self-evident. To help you on your way, we have listed a selection of reliable websites for you where good information can be found.

Moti...not yet

What if your client, close relative or family member indicates that he is not yet ready for a Moti4 or Moti55 interview? That is of course also a possibility. Perhaps the person in question does not experience a problem at that moment and there is therefore no motivation for change. Sometimes they indicate that it is also a bit crazy to talk to a strange person about something like your alcohol use.

What can you do in this case?

  • Keep it negotiable! Pay attention to the conversation tips!
  • Approach other parents and talk about it
  • Let the youngster discover  or the over- 55s and point out the online platform where the youngster can at least get started with a bit of self-examination!

Last but not least

Request a free consultation with one of our Moti4 or Moti55 employees. You can always talk about alcohol use or parenting and gaming to give yourself some more handles! Sometimes there is still a conversation with your child, family member or client, because the prevention worker has already come into the picture. The prevention workers are also active in secondary education or in social work in your neighbourhood. It is very well possible that the Moti employee has already given information. In this way, the care coordinator and/or mentor can also be consulted about deploying Moti4 or Moti55.

Meet our Moti employees!

What people are saying about Moti

Celia, teacher VMBO

During an information market at school, I asked the prevention worker about individual offers for a number of my students who smoke weed. I just wasn't sure how I would motivate the students for a preventive interview. The prevention worker then gave a tailor-made guest lesson to make the subject negotiable. The interest was great and many myths surrounding weed were debunked. The students I also had in mind for an individual trajectory reported to the prevention worker after class to discuss further separately! Moti4 is tailor-made and knows how to reach the young person easily!

Claudia, mother of Stan

Every time that battle around our son's gaming. Time and again we found ourselves in the circle of not wanting to come to the table, not wanting to start homework, to changing the Wifi codes to be able to interrupt online gaming. Moti4 has helped us in setting adequate rules. First the PC went away from the bedroom, we went from punishing by taking away gaming to a structure of rewarding gaming and agreeing on a fixed time to eat. A lot of stress has been removed by more clarity and Stan now even cleans up the dishwasher after dinner instead of disappearing straight back into his bedroom.