Some people can’t imagine drinking an adult beverage in front of their kids. Parents sneak a sip when their kids are not looking, or when they go to sleep, and the coast is clear. This sends the message that drinking is wrong. We all know that a glass of wine here and there is not bad for you. In fact, it can be good for your health. If you think that drinking in front of your child is “bad parenting,” you might be doing more harm than you think.
If we, as parents, don’t teach them how to drink, then who will? Their friends? Their friends’ parents? Or maybe behind the bleachers at a football game with a kid who stole his dad’s whiskey bottle? Teaching kids how to drink responsibly is a valuable lesson. Kids learn from their parents’ behavior, and we serve as their role models. Parenting Magazine or popular online parenting sites should note: alcohol is not the problem but rather the abuse of alcohol.
If your fear is promoting underage drinking, statistics show that kids who are served alcohol by their parents are less likely to have drinking problems. Maybe it’s because having a glass of wine with dinner is a common thing. It’s not shameful or done behind close doors.
When kids leave the nest, you want them to be prepared. Parents aren’t at frat parties or dates with guys who only want “one thing.” Kids should know not to drink and drive, how to say no to another drink in a nice way, how to lose a drink when someone forces a drink on you, or not to drink on an empty stomach.
We teach them these things by drinking responsibly, by finding a designated driver when we’ve had one too many, and by not reliving our college days with old school friends. Beer pong may be fun, but that only teaches kids how to binge drink. Drinking in front of your kids is not “bad parenting.” It’s “responsible parenting.”
Do you drink in front of your kids?