Being a parent is no easy job. Any mom or dad can tell you that it’s probably the hardest task they’ve ever undertaken. It’s up to parents to model appropriate behaviors to their children and teens. Yes, we hope that teachers, friends, and older peers can also be good role models in kids’ lives, but parents are on the front lines. When it comes to alcohol, teens are constantly bombarded with peer pressure, advertising, and temptation. They see drunken parties on TV and in movies. They are exposed probably daily to examples of what NOT to do when it comes to drinking. It is up to you to model appropriate drinking behavior so that once your teenagers come of age, they will have a solid foundation of moderation to emulate.
APPROPRIATE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION FOR ADULT MALES AND FEMALES
The CDC defines “moderate drinking” as 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. The type of alcoholic drink is not specified. This is the absolute MAXIMUM that you would want to model for your children. If you are going to imbibe, why not have a glass of wine with dinner or dessert? Show your teens that alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation as a part of a meal, not as a special activity to do “all by itself”.
Or, why not go one step further and limit your alcohol consumption to a couple drinks a week? Again, the CDC states that the above levels are perfectly acceptable for adults, but why not show your teens that alcohol doesn’t have to be a part of daily life, but that it can still be enjoyed in a balanced, healthy lifestyle (once they reach the legal drinking age)?
Though some teens roll their eyes and scowl when they see their parents attempting to show them “new things” or to teach them wise behaviors, they are still watching you. Be a good example, don’t just talk about doing what is correct.
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