Having a conversation with your kids about the risks of drinking is one of the most important steps to help prevent your children from having a problem with alcohol, but there are other things you can do as well.
- Be Involved: Connect with your child's friends and their families to see if they're choosing healthy relationships. Get to know what's happening in their lives, what hobbies they're interested in, what's important to them and how they like to spend their time outside of school. Developing a close relationship is the biggest step you can take to help them see you as a trusted resource of information, and to have them want to keep your respect by choosing not to participate in dangerous activities. Research has also found that kids who are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use alcohol or drugs.
- Encourage Alternatives: The more your child is active and interested in other activities, the less likely they are to seek out risky behavior. Encourage safe, healthy ways to have fun and fight off boredom. Help them succeed at their hobbies and set aside time to do fun activities together. Get them involved in sports or other after-school or community activities. If they're old enough, have them get a part-time job or volunteer together. Let them know how drinking would pose a risk to their interests and responsibilities, and they'll make the decision themselves to avoid those risks.
- Be a Role Model: Kids form their own ideas about what healthy drinking behavior looks like based on what they see at home. So, above all, what you do is even more effective than what you say. Only drink in moderation, especially around your kids. When you host gatherings at home, have non-alcoholic beverages available and discourage problematic behavior in your guests. Most importantly, don't let anyone drink and drive when you're in charge.
- Know Your Family History: Genetics play a big factor in the likelihood of developing problems with alcohol. Make sure you know the facts about whether or not alcoholism runs in your family, and if any recent family members had any health issues that relate to alcohol. If you do, be up front about it with your kids. Let them know that it's even riskier behavior for them because of your family history and make sure they understand the connection with drinking and those health issues. A first-hand experience with the consequences of drinking can have a profound effect.
Are you looking for alcohol treatment centers that can effectively treat your child's struggle with alcohol abuse? Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center right away. Since 1989, Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef and the team at Fairwinds have been using a unique dual diagnosis approach that combines clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to discover and resolve the underlying psychological factors that trigger addictive behaviors in the first place.