Five ways to set an example with alcohol for your kids

Alcohol is one of the most prominent dangers in our society and as parents we can often
worry about our children drinking, particularly when they get to their teenage years.
While thankfully many Millennials and Gen Z are setting a precedent of not drinking these
days, there are still dangers, with the likes of peer pressure and social environments often
leading people to drink.

Visit any private alcohol rehab and you’ll find many people discovering the root of the
problem stems back to childhood, teenage years drinking in the park and so on. So even
now it’s important as parents to set an example.

But how exactly do you do that? To help, here are five ways in which you can do so…

Model Responsible Drinking

Actually one of the best things you can do is practice responsible drinking or don’t drink
yourself. Ensure that when you do drink it’s in appropriate settings, avoid excessive drinking
and don’t drink as a way to cope with the likes of stress.

This sets a bad precedent and ultimately, could encourage your child to turn to alcohol if
they’re going through a difficult time.

By drinking responsibly, you’ll provide a healthier model for your children, ensuring you’re
not glorifying it or making it seem like it’s necessary to have a good time. It’s half the battle

Establish Clear Rules and Boundaries

Setting clear rules and boundaries about alcohol use is essential in guiding your children's
behaviour. Explain your expectations regarding underage drinking and the reasons behind
these rules.

Discuss the legal age for drinking, the health risks associated with alcohol, and the potential
consequences of underage drinking. Consistency is key; ensure that these rules are upheld
and that there are consequences for breaking them. By setting firm guidelines, you create a
structured environment that helps children understand the importance of responsible alcohol

Be Open in Communication

Alongside setting the example with your own drinking habits, being open with how alcohol is
discussed is also instrumental in setting an example. Encourage your children to ask
questions about it, and be open in your answers.

Discuss real-life scenarios with them, such as periods where they may be feeling pressured
into drinking, and create plans on how to combat that. By being aligned and open in your
communication, it will help them make more informed decisions about alcohol, as well as
being open and honest if they are struggling as a result of it.

Educate Through Experience

In some cultures and families, it is common to introduce children to alcohol in a controlled
and supervised manner. For instance, allowing a teenager to have a small glass of wine
during a family meal can demystify alcohol and reduce its appeal as a 'forbidden fruit'.

However, this should be done with caution and within the legal framework. The goal is to
teach moderation and the social aspects of drinking, not to encourage regular consumption.
Always stress the importance of waiting until they are of legal drinking age before consuming
alcohol independently.

Highlight the Importance of Healthy Alternatives

Finally, highlight to your children that there is more to life than alcohol. Encourage them to
partake in sports, hobbies and other forms of activity, and use those yourself to also combat
stress and prioritise mental health.

Actually, enjoying hobbies together can be a fantastic way to set an example and showcase
to them what a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle looks like. As a result, they’ll develop
coping mechanisms and interests that don’t remotely revolve around alcohol and that
relaxing can be achieved without it. They’re then much more likely to continue this
throughout their teenage and into adult years.

Also read: alcohol can cause cancer.

Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The growth within a laboratory of microbes, organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye. Full medical glossary
An element present in haemoglobin in the red cells. Full medical glossary
Relating to injury or concern. Full medical glossary