Young Children and Alcohol
How parents’ alcohol consumption can affect their children
Parenting is the ultimate responsibility in life and children rely on their parents for so much. Parents provide for and nurture these lives from babies, children through to teens. Parents teach, counsel and guide their children throughout their entire lives.
Children look to their parents as role models at every stage of their lives. Therefore, every decision parents make impact their children in some way, and parents’ alcohol consumption is right at the top of the list.
Your attitudes to and behaviour around alcohol will play an important role in your children’s attitudes and future drinking habits. Children and alcohol is just one of the many topics that you need to consider as a parent, but one that should not be taken lightly.
Kids absorb your drinking
From a very early age children pick up so many messages from watching their parents drinking alcohol, as well as family friends and other influential adults.
Through observing adults drinking, children form their attitudes to alcohol early in life. The attitudes they develop during their younger years will affect how they make a range of important decisions regarding drinking alcohol in the future, such as: underage drinking, pace yourself or fill-up fast, drink and drive or take a taxi, binge drink to get drunk or drink sensibly, drinking every day or occasionally and so the list goes on.
Research shows that the right influence early in life by parents and other positive role models helps with the development of healthy attitudes towards alcohol and assists in appropriate decision-making in the future.
Look closely at the type of role model you are as a parent when it comes to drinking, as well as other adults your child is in contact with and the example you are setting during this time in their life. You can almost guarantee that you are shaping your kids’ attitudes towards drinking alcohol, either positively or negatively.