In America, like many countries, alcohol is a big part of our society. It’s part of celebrations, parties, holidays, and even relaxation.
Alcohol beverage sales in the US in 2016 were appox. $223 billion
It’s also the 3rd largest preventable cause of death in the US with aprox 88000 people per year dying of alcohol related deaths.
This episode isn’t about the dangers of alcohol or even whether you should drink or not. It’s really about whether or not it’s ok to drink around your kids.
From the research I have looked at, it seems that the attitude toward the alcohol is probably the most important factor on how your child perceives it.
Let me give you a few scenarious:
1) You come home from work and you say “man, what a day. I could really use a drink right now.”
2) you are having a party at your house and your child sees you drinking numerous drinks. By the end of the night, your drunk.
The association of alcohol used as a reward or used in celebration runs pretty deep. Teaching our children a healthier association with alcohol is going to take some effort.
I’ve created a few tips to follow:
1) Don’t get drunk in front of your children. Maybe wait until you have that vacation with your buddies or you wait for the times when your kids aren’t going to be around.
2) Never get behind the wheel of a car when drinking or be a passenger with someone who has been drinking Be sure your kids see that. Communicate those rules with them.
3) Don’t make it a requirement for fun. If you require drinks for every event, maybe you can try creating fun activities that don’t involve alcohol.
4) Make it no big deal. If you are using alcohol to relax or some other reason keep it to yourself. Don’t say “I could really use a drink right now”.
Our kids are sponges. They see and hear everything.
I’ll assume you don’t want your child to have a problem with alcohol. While how you deal with alcohol isn’t the only factor that determines the fate of your child’s relationship with alcohol, it is big factor.
We owe it to our children to be responsible and teach responsibility.