Positive Role Models
How family and friends can be positive role models for your child
Parents are usually the most significant role models in a child’s life, especially during childhood. Therefore, it is important to consider whether your lifestyle, including your drinking behaviour, is appropriate for your kids to model or copy.
It is also important to consider the other role models in your children’s life and whether their lifestyles demonstrate the kind of example you wish to set.
Both parents and other role models play a significant role when it comes to kids and alcohol.
Being a parent is hard enough without having people around you making it harder to be a positive role model, especially when it comes to alcohol. You want people that make it possible for you to do the best job you can as a parent.
Make sure that family and close friends know how you feel about drinking alcohol around your kids and your thoughts about their positive or negative influence on your child’s future drinking behaviour. Explain the stance that you are taking and why. Discussing the issue is the first step.
- Don’t make alcohol the focus of every event. Make a point of having alcohol-free celebrations to demonstrate to your children that you don’t need alcohol to enjoy yourself.
- Talk to family and friends. Let them know how you feel about this issue, but try not to preach to them about what they should or shouldn’t do. Sometimes people are simply unaware of the messages they are sending to kids about drinking. Sometimes people just need to have their memories jogged about their responsibilities as a role model. Most drinkers will respect your decision to drink responsibly and be positive role models for your kids.
- Don’t be afraid to air your disapproval. If a friend continues to behave poorly after you have already raised your concerns, ensure that your kids hear you disapprove of their drinking behaviour. You may openly challenge the person or, if that is not appropriate, make it clear to your kids afterwards where you stand on the issue of alcohol. That should open up positive discussion and help your kids get their heads straight on the fact that some adult drinking behaviour is not acceptable.