It is not uncommon for children to see drinking all around them: during parties, celebrations, in the public places, and amongst certain grown up friends. It is therefore, natural for children to be intrigued about alcohol use. Most children confess to have “sipped” some liquor off their parents’ stock in absence of the parents. To make matters worse, most parents confess that they have to oversee their children’s drinking habits because parents occasionally consume alcohol themselves. Policing children against alcohol consumption, therefore, becomes tougher for parents to justify.
Watch Alcohol Intake Around Children
According to some case studies, parents who do not exhibit an affinity towards alcohol in front of their children find it easier to keep their children off the bottle. On the other hand, children whose parents are regular drinkers usually take to alcohol much sooner. Therefore, as a first step, limit alcohol use in front of your children if you want them to keep off the bottle at a young age.
I am not asking you to stop drinking, but you should regulate your alcohol intake in front of your children for two reasons: first, children are incapable of regulating alcohol consumption and second, alcohol has far adverse consequences on a juvenile’s health as compared to an adult.
Talk to Your Children
Some children are inquisitive and question their parents about alcohol. Children usually start asking curious questions at the age of 4 or 5. Make sure you talk to them about alcohol use at an early age and warn them against alcohol consumption. Ensure that you highlight the negative effects and state clearly that alcohol consumption is illegal until adulthood. Never, and I mean NEVER offer your kid a sip off your bottle. This is only going to encourage your child to take on alcohol.
Signs That Your Child May Be Drinking
Parents also have problems in figuring out whether or not their child has been consuming alcohol. There are a few signs that may indicate whether or not your child has taken to the bottle.
- smell of alcohol in your child’s breath
- sudden spike in the usage of mouth fresheners
- abrupt mood-swings
- loss of interest in school and sports
- complaints from teachers
- withdrawal from family and friends
- secrecy and association with a new group of friends
If any of these signs are prevalent, it may indicate that your child might have taken to alcohol or drug abuse.
A word of caution: Do not suspect your child of alcohol abuse without solid evidence to prove it. Being dubious about your child’s activity can cause trust issues between you and your child and create unnecessary distance. The best way to keep your child off the bottle is by winning your child’s trust and giving him or her a helping hand.