Many 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.
Why is Alcohol So Dangerous to Children or Teenagers?
Children have no clue that alcohol is considered a drug and don’t know how to control their consumption. The more they drink the less control they have over the things they might say or do, including sexual assault, rape, have sex, do illict drugs, drive while intoxicated, or get into the car with a friend who has been drinking. Depending on your child’s weight, a small amount of alcohol could make them feel buzzed and become impaired quickly. Parents you don’t want your child to become an addict before they even reach the legal age to drink. Teens also don’t realize that mixing different types of alcohol can make you very ill.
Educate Your Children and Teenager About Alcohol Usage
Teach your child at an early age the dangers of alcohol, binge drinking, legal problems, and the consequences involved. In fact, most driver’s education programs show teenagers a film that clearly visualizes the effects of drinking and driving. I remember my drivers education teach taking us through the local junk yard and showed us a car that was wrapped around the telephone pole due to drinking and driving.
Educate your child so that they learn to say no and won’t give into peer pressure even if it seems like all of the cool kids are doing it. Parents always keep the lines of communication open and monitor your child’s activities. Always let your child know that you will come pick them up, even if they wind up at a party, if they call you. You want to always give them an escape route and give them an opportunity to make the right decision. Most teenagers turn to drugs or alcohol to cover up other problems that they might be going through. If you catch your child drinking, find out why they are drinking.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is a depressant and masks the pain temporarily. Once your teen starts drinking, they will have to continually increase their alcohol intake to maintain the same buzz. Most teenagers don’t realize that the consequences can be pretty steep if they are caught drinking. Watch for the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:
- Attendance Problems at School
- Constant Headaches (Resulting from Hangovers)
- Finding Your Child Passed Out
- Blacking Out
- Withdraw and Become Secretive
- Start Hanging Out with Different Friends
- Legal Problems
- Come Home with Injuries and Attempt to Hide The Injuries
- Injure Someone Else
- Give Up Hobbies or Sports
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Upset Stomach
- Sexually Active Due to Poor Decisions While Consuming Alcohol
- Redness Around Their Nose or Cheeks
- Car Accidents that Involve Alcohol
- Getting Into the Car With Friends Who Have Been Drinking
- Memory Problems
- Possibly Death From Alcohol Poisoning
Should You Consume Alcohol in Front of Your Children?
Parents who openly drink in front of their children can open the door to questions that their children may have about alcohol. When drinking in front of your child, it is important to monitor your own alcohol intake and teach them that it is okay to consume in moderation. I feel that parents who consume too much alcohol and can’t control their own consumption display the wrong image to their children. I realize that some people think it is okay to get legally drunk after their children are in bed; however, drinking too much can impair your ability to hear your child especially if they are young.
Do you consume alcohol in front of your children? How much do you think is too much to consume around your children?