We all like to have a drink or two during the festive season – it’s a tradition we partake in Australia-wide. It is important to be responsible when you drink – and that includes how your behaviour influences your kids and the kids around you.
Here are some tips to be a positive influence around alcohol this Christmas.
- Young people are perceptive – they notice what is happening around them. Sit down and talk openly about alcohol and the effects it can have on a growing body and developing brain, rather than just saying “it’s an adult drink”.
- Your children will be curious about alcohol and may ask to ‘taste’ your drinks. It doesn’t help that many alcoholic drinks are in bright colours, and have appealing smells. Explain to them why it is best to wait until they are older to start drinking. Also, be aware of the relevant state or territory laws about supplying alcohol to people under the age of 18.
- On the same note, if your teens are close to the legal drinking age, but you’d prefer that they stayed away from alcohol, make sure your friends and family know how you feel on the subject ahead of time. This way your guests will know not to offer any alcohol, nor say yes to your teens asking for a drink.
- It’s not uncommon to find sales on bulk quantities of alcohol at this time of year. If you do buy in bulk for a range of Christmas events, make sure you have a place where it can be kept out of sight. And just because you buy it – doesn’t mean you have to drink it all! Most drinks will keep for later in the coming year as well.
- Be sure to set a good example. If you plan on drinking in front of your children, watch how much you’re drinking. The last thing you want to do is drink so much that you can’t participate in the festivities. You can take this an opportunity to show that it is okay to refuse the next drink when you know you have had enough – knowing when to stop is a huge part of being a responsible drinker.
- Pace yourself and your drinking. By having a non-alcoholic drink (preferably water) between each alcoholic one, you will not be as affected by the alcohol, and will wake up in the morning feeling better as well.
- Clean up as you go. Half empty bottles or cans left lying around can peak a young child’s curiosity – especially if they are eager to “be like daddy/mummy/big sibling”.
Follow these simple tips and be the positive influence all kids need around alcohol. You will help set up a good attitude towards alcohol for your child’s later life, and instill that responsibility in them too.