Alcohol and Parenting

March 21, 2008

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The majority of teenagers in the United States cite their parents as the most important influence on their decisions regarding alcohol. Because of this, parents have a responsibility to teach their children the correct way to handle alcohol in their lives. Unfortunately, many don’t talk to their kids about the issue at all because they aren’t sure what to say or they fear it will actually encourage them to drink. However, that simply isn’t true. There are a number of ways parents can foster a responsible view of drinking in their children, reducing the chances of alcohol abuse and alcoholism during the teen years and beyond.

First of all, parents are role model to their teens whether they realize it or not. They should model the behavior with alcohol that they wish for their children to have. If an adult practices alcohol abuse, even on infrequent occasions, they can’t expect their teens to not do the same thing. It’s essential to set a good example. Parents with alcohol abuse or alcoholism problems should seek help from an addiction treatment program. Getting help for their own issues from a treatment center will help the children in numerous ways.

The parent’s attitudes and beliefs about alcohol are important, along with their behavior. For example, laughing at alcoholism or drunken behavior sets a bad example and gives the perception that it isn’t dangerous. Instead, parents can use these opportunities to discuss issues about alcohol openly with their children and teens.

Scare tactics don’t work. Teaching the problems associated with alcohol abuse and alcoholism is a better method than trying to convince them alcohol is a scary thing that should never be touched, even by responsible adults. There is a big difference between playing drinking games or drinking and driving and having a serving of alcohol with dinner.

Comments

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