How to Talk to Your Children about Alcohol Abuse
When it comes to talking to children about alcohol, it can be hard to know what to say or how to say it for concerned parents. It is important to convey the information in such a way that the child does not feel as though they are being attacked so that they get the most out of the talk.
There are a few tips to consider when conversing with the adolescent that can educate them and make them understand the consequences of drinking.
Provide Age-Appropriate Content
It is important to convey simple information in relevant occasions as the child grows so that it becomes second nature to them to frown on the action. For example, when the news tells an alcohol-related story, it would be a good idea to ask the child is he or she knows what they are.
It is a good idea to explain that the adverse effects of alcohol so that they know the harmful consequences to their bodies and if they ask questions, to let them participate in the conversation. To ensure the parent is a reliable and knowledgeable to their children, it is a good practice to read up on the recent studies done about alcoholism.
When they are young, it is a good plan to ensure they have the information that they need so that later they can be wary without being afraid of it. According to College Drinking Prevention, it is important for the parents to tell their teens the consequences without going overboard and scaring them.
They simply need to understand the risks that are being taken by taking the first drink, not be scared of the alcohol itself.
Reinforcement and Morals
Whenever an opportunity arises to discuss and reinforce the message, it is wise for the parent to do so. The more the message is conveyed, the more likely it will stick with them and as they grow, Mom or Dad can answer the questions more in depth. As they grow, the lessons will cement and they will know to be cautious when they are around alcohol.
Parents should practice what they teach their children so that they can be good role models. If the parent tells their children that drinking is a bad practice, it would be a wise choice not to drink excessively around them so that they know how to drink responsibly. Parents should allow an alcoholic beverage to be an option but not the only option available.
Peer Pressure for Kids
To prepare a child for what is to come, the parent should be able to properly discuss peer pressure. It is important to tell him or her that good friends will not push and will care enough to listen when they say no. Those who would push them into drinking are not good friends and the child should be made aware of it so that they will be ready when the time comes.
Discussing how to say no is a vital lesson for any parent to teach their child. Try giving older children scenarios where their friends offer them a drink and if they answer correctly, praise them. According to the NIAAA, it is important to do more than simply state that he or she should avoid alcohol.
The parents should also explain what the children could say instead. If the child does not know how to say no to a drink, it is more likely that they will be peer pressured into it, which could lead to more serious problems down the road.
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Indicate Family Values
Children often look to their parents and will use them as role models on how to behave or feel on certain subjects. Because of this, a good tip would be to instill the feelings their family has in regards to alcohol and the fears he or she may have in regards to it.
Parents should also be willing to explain their feelings on alcohol so that the children gain a more thorough understanding.
Discussing alcohol with children can be hard, especially when the parents are unsure of what to say or how to say it. Parents should convey age-appropriate information, reinforce their message as the child grows, explain peer pressure, and ensure their children know what their family thinks about the subject of alcohol.
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction and needs help, call 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.