Your kids look up to you as their role model.
Whatever you say to your children about avoiding alcohol, they will also be observing how you use alcohol. They take their cues from you, so:
- While you may want to pour yourself a drink after a long day at work, it’s better not to give your kids the message that alcohol is a problem solver by coming home and saying out loud that you’ve had a bad day and need a drink.
- If your kids are in the room or nearby, use alcohol moderately; don’t appear intoxicated in front of your kids. Don’t let them overhear stories of a night out drinking with your girlfriends or buddies.
- Be conscious of what you’re posting online, especially if your kids can see what you’re posting. Memes about alcohol as “Mommy juice” or “This is why Daddy drinks” can make alcohol sound like a cool joke that kids want to be in on.
- If you’re having a family dinner at a restaurant, have conversations in front of your kids about who is driving home after a parent has been drinking. Let your kids see that you will never drink and drive or ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking.
- When you are entertaining adults and kids are in the house, let kids see that you are including alcohol-free beverages and plenty of food, and that you are making sure everyone has a safe ride home.
1 in 3 Kids have tried alcohol by age 8
By age 12, the number of kids who have tried alcohol increases to 2 in 3.
Tip: The earlier you start talking to your child about alcohol, the better. Early engagement can help your child avoid future problems with alcohol.
The more you learn about underage drinking, the more confident you will feel talking to your child about it.