Every Parent is a Role Model
Being a parent can be difficult, especially with all the outside influence your children get. When it comes to drinking, it is extremely important to be the role model you want your children to see.
Though studies have shown that children really do listen to their parents when they speak about underage and responsible drinking, warning your children about the dangers of drinking only goes so far. To make it truly effective, set a good example yourself.
Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County takes an annual Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) survey of 8th, 10th and 11th graders in the Fond du Lac School District. Parent disapproval of underage alcohol use has increased by almost 10% in the past four years, resulting in 88% of parents’ disapproval of their children drinking underage. This shows us that more children are aware of how their parents feel in regards to underage drinking. We need to make sure that what they continue to see is how parents do not approve of underage and irresponsible drinking.
Tips for modeling responsible drinking:
• Limit your alcohol use, especially in front of your children.
• Do not drink alcohol every day. Set rules and boundaries.
• Do not glorify alcohol and intoxication.
• Never drink and drive.
• Do not convey to your children the idea that alcohol is fun or glamorous through stories about your own or others’ drinking.
• Encourage friends and family to be good roles models for your kids.
• Encourage non-alcoholic family gatherings. Let your children know that you can enjoy yourself without alcohol. Alcohol should never be the focus of a get together.
• Talk to your kids. Explain the importance of drinking moderately and why only adults should consume it. Ask them how they feel about their parents drinking alcohol. What attitudes do they have about alcohol? This will help you reflect on your own drinking behaviors, open up communication with your children and set boundaries for the future.