Should Parents Consume Alcohol Around Children?

Couple Enjoying Alcohol While Children are HomeMany parents often wonder if they should drink alcohol in front of their children.  If you do drink alcohol in your home, do you wait until your children are in bed or do you consume it in front of them?  I personally feel that if you are going to drink in front of your children that you should consume it in moderation, as long as it isn’t illegal is perfectly normal.  As a responsible adult, I know that it is safer to drink in the comfort of my home so that I don’t have to worry about driving home after consuming an alcoholic drink.  If you are caught drinking and driving, most adults realize the severe legal ramifications that they might face for driving while intoxicated or under the influence.  However, a teenager isn’t likely to know these legal ramifications if they are caught underage drinking and/or driving intoxicated.  As a parent it is your job to lead your child by example, they are watching everything you do on a daily basis.

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.  All opinions reflected in this post are my own and are based on my own experiences.

Did You Know that Alcohol is the Number One Abused Drug by Teenagers?

I remember when I was in high school I would constantly hear stories about how some of my classmates spent their weekend and over 50% of the time the stories involved alcohol consumption.  Underage drinking isn’t a new issue and it causes major health problems according the to the CDC.  In fact, teenagers are more likely to binge drink.  Teenagers can easily get ahold of alcohol because it generally is readily available and can be found in most households.  Parents often don’t realize that some of their alcohol stash is missing and don’t think about the consequences of leaving alcohol available unattended in their house.  Did you know that children as young as ten or eleven take their first drink?  According to KidsHealth, most kids have their first drink of alcohol before they are 10 years old.  It is possible that kids even younger have had their first drink accidentally.

Continue Reading: Talking to Your Teenagers about Alcohol Consumption



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20 Responses

  1. Dee says:

    Such great tips! Having two ‘of legal age’ children, one on the cusp (18) and one just starting 7th grade, I really believe in alcohol education as soon as is feasible. Sometimes, it’s younger than you’d want because they see it at a friend’s house before you’ve had a chance to explain it. I remember when my oldest was at a friend’s house many years ago and the dad got belligerently drunk. She made the smart choice to say “I need to run home for a few minutes” and didn’t go back. (We lived across the street from them.) For our home, we believe that education starts at home and I’d rather approach the topic than do the “not in my house!” approach where it is seen as evil and something to test. We do have alcohol at parties or gatherings and have explained at length that drinking does not signify an alcohol problem, that moderation is key, appropriate environment, of course, and that some people can’t even handle that. I personally don’t like to be out of control, so hiding it and doing it at night? Bleh, I don’t drink to get drunk so that wouldn’t work for us. I remember the first night my daughter had a grand mal/tonic clonic seizure and had to be rushed to the hospital via an ambulance. I had taken an over-the-counter sleep aid for the first time ever. What a mistake! I hated the grogginess. I learned then, never go to sleep in a way that makes it difficult to wake up, wide awake, at any point, if at all avoidable.

  2. Hi Christy,

    A very important question indeed that’s often overlooked I’d add.

    Yes, if things are done in moderation in-front of our kids, it’s still alright, or else we really don’t have to drink when they are around because they are very observant if they are small.

    Not to mention when they grow up to their teen years, things can become pretty bad if they see their parent drink, as they either may start drinking too, or else it affects them later in their lives.

    The key lies to do things in moderation, so that even our kids know it’s sometimes alright to drink, and make it to do so sometimes only, not regularly.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)

    • Christy says:

      I rarely drink and I feel that it was what I was accustomed with growing up. My parents only drank occasionally and always taught us that we didn’t need alcohol in order to have a good time.

  3. Pamela R says:

    we rearly drink , but if I do have a wine or a mixed drink at a party my kids see…

  4. Pepper Tan says:

    Yes, if you must have a drink in front of your kids, I guess you should explain to them what alcohol does to the body, etc. And drink moderately. We parents should definitely always try to set a good example to our kids.

  5. Really good points on a touchy subject. Moderation can probably mean something to some and something else to others, but setting the right example is right.

  6. I don’t see it as an issue to drink alcohol infront of the kids but of course in moderation and to teach them what is acceptable and not.

  7. Lexie Lane says:

    I’ve never had the desire to continually drink or don’t understand alcohol abuse but I have witnessed people who have gotten out of control with them. Our children definitely shouldn’t have to witness bad behavior from us, especially if we are trying to mold them into good people.

  8. Great tips. We drink in front of our children, but overall don;t drink very much. I like that we are modeling a healthy view of alcohol.

  9. Rachel says:

    We drink in moderation around our toddler, mainly a beer or wine with dinner. She has begun to notice, in fact she calls wine “red beer”. It makes me feel uncomfortable, but I realize that it isn’t a good idea to shield your children from the things that are so commonplace in our society. I agree with you. I think it’s better to show them how to do things moderately than to hide what they will likely confront all too often as teenagers. Great post!

  10. Sicorra says:

    Those are important tips! Friends of ours recently lost their home due to a drunk driver that crashed into it and burned their house down.

    My husband and I rarely drink. I grew up with an alcoholic father though who never hid his drinking. He would start drinking from the moment he got home from work in the late afternoon and didn’t stop until bedtime. It was very rough on us kids.

    • Christy says:

      Yikes, I am sorry to hear that your friends had to experience a tragedy because of a drunk driver. That is a crazy story. Thank you for sharing.

      I can’t imagine being around someone who constantly feels like they need to drink especially as a child.

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