Setting an Example
Children are perceptive and take in everything that is happening around them - particularly the habits and behaviour of their parents or guardians. Being a positive role model and setting an example when it comes to your child’s relationship and understanding of alcohol is very important. Children learn a lot by watching their parents. When parents have a healthy relationship with alcohol, they are showing their children how to do the same.
If you are exploring the topic of alcohol with your child and want to provide the best example you can, consider the following:
- Think about your own relationship with alcohol and the messages it could be sending your child.
- Try not to associate alcohol with a tough time or long day at the office. Regularly saying, “I could do with a drink” at these times could indicate to your children that alcohol is a necessary part of everyday life or a way to deal with an issue.
- At family occasions, parties or on holiday, be aware of how much you or other family members are drinking. Try to limit how often you or others drink alcohol in front of your children.
- Be open and honest with your children. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say that you’ll find out and come back to them or better yet, find out the answer together.
- If they ask about your own experiences of alcohol when you were younger - be honest! However, emphasise the value and importance of waiting until they are an adult and old enough to know the risks associated with drinking alcohol from a young age.