How do YOU teach your kids about booze?
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I am on The Vanessa Feltz Show on BBC Radio London talking about the two mothers were refused alcoholic drinks in a pub because the barman said it would “inappropriate” for them to drink in front of their children.
You can read the story here in The Sunday Telegraph
But how DO you teach your kids about alcohol?
Research shows that parents’ attitude to alcohol can make a big difference in how young people handle drinking. So here are some of the coaching questions I ask the parents I work with in my Coaching Practice to help them get clarity and confidence around this subject.
I ask parents to just imagine they have a camcorder on their shoulder that observes how they speak about alcohol, how they behave around alcohol and what messages their kids are picking up around alcohol….. if they don’t like what they discover they don’t have to beat themselves up, but just make some small changes that will over time make big changes, so their kids will pick up and learn the messages they DO want them to learn.
Here is an article I wrote giving a five-point guide for parents on how to stop children abusing alcohol
And another article I wrote about: Living With Alcohol
Here’s a helpful website Under Your Influence
Surveys have shown that parents are overwhelmingly their kid’s top role models. When you consider kids form their attitudes to alcohol long before they ever drink themselves, it’s worth thinking more about your own drinking.
Here are a few simple things you can do:
- Limit the amount you drink – no more hangovers.
- Plan ahead – by eating a healthy meal when you drink, having plenty of water, and not drinking to get drunk.
- Make a point of having alcohol-free days.
- Don’t glorify drinking and intoxication.
- Try not to make every family gathering involve alcohol. For example, having an alcohol-free BBQ will help show your kids that you can enjoy yourself without drinking booze.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re having problems controlling your own drinking.
- Talk honestly to your kids about alcohol and how your family consumes it. It is a good to open up the lines of communication for setting ground rules in the future.
- Encourage family and friends to also be good role models.
Check out more ways you can lead by example over here.
Also a ‘must watch’ is the Leading By Example video on this site.
Ever noticed your children imitating your behaviour with alcohol? Have your say – Get involved and post your thoughts.