Parents – If You Love Your Kids Choose Not To Drink Alcohol



Why would a parent, who may enjoy drinking alcohol, choose not to drink?

They know tragic consequences may be in their children’s future, if they drink alcohol and their children follow their example.

Good parents refuse to encourage, enable or model alcohol that could potentially kill their child. They know a double standard does not work! Telling your child not to drink alcohol, when you are drinking, doesn’t work! Responsible parents are aware that drunk driving, alcoholism, future drug use, are a small part of what can happen after a child takes it’s first drink. Parents who really love their children are willing to give up something they may enjoy themselves for the health and safety of their children.

I believe mothers have the greatest responsibility to their children in this area, because they set the tone of the home! For responsible parents, it is not a big sacrifice to make the choice not to drink alcohol.

A study was done on the brains of young people and the finding was that young brains do not fully develop until they are age twenty-five. Young people need the adults in their life to be good examples. They need parents to direct them and help them make good decisions. The sad fact is that many parents are bad examples and by the time a young person figures life out, they are following the same path as their parents.

If you are questioning this idea of parents abstaining, think of this! How would you feel if your child died in an alcoholic stupor because they just wanted to be like you? If you don’t want them to drink alcohol, you must not drink yourself!!!!!!!

There is a movement gaining great popularity today, similar to the anti smoking campaign, which had great success. This movement is called “Reducing Underage Drinking”. It is the result of Congress requesting the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine to review the evidence on various programs aimed at underage drinking and to recommend a strategy to reduce and prevent it.

The conclusion of the study is simply: Alcohol use by young people is dangerous, not only because of the risks associated with acute impairment, but also because of the threat to their long-term development and well-being.

I recently attended a national conference for this movement and was impressed with all the enthusiasm and excitement generated in teaching our young people not to drink alcohol, until they are twenty-one years old. Organizations from all over the United States gathered to share what they know and their successes. Great strides are being made and young people are really being educated in the dangers of drinking alcohol.

I am very thankful for all that is being done and commend all involved for their dedication and desire to save our young people.

Unfortunately, my only complaint is the lack of an abstinence message in their campaign. They are not making it loud and clear, to young people, that they have the choice not to drink alcohol at all, whatever their age. They are not being taught, “Abstinence is the better choice!” They are only teaching young people not to drink alcohol until they are twenty-one years old. They must believe something magical happens when they attain the age of twenty-one. If they only choose to drink then, there will be no consequences.

Why do I believe abstinence a better choice?

Once again from the study: 1/3 of youth traffic fatalities involve alcohol. Underage alcohol use is also associated with violence, suicide, educational failure, and other problem behaviors. All of these problems are magnified by early onset of teen drinking: the younger the drinker, the worse the problem. Moreover, frequent heavy drinking by young adolescents can lead to mild brain damage. A young person who begins drinking as a young teen is four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than some one who waits until adulthood to use alcohol. Almost 14 million Americans abuse alcohol or have developed alcoholism.

My argument for encouraging parents to choose not to drink alcohol is personal, but is backed up by the study. It says that the patterns and consequences of youthful drinking are closely related to the overall extent and patterns of drinking in the society, and they are affected by the same factors that affect the patterns of adult consumption. From this standpoint, it is possible that the most effective way to reduce the extent and adverse consequences of youthful drinking would be to reduce the extent and consequences of adult drinking. It is clear, however that Congress intended for the committee to focus on youth drinking, rather than developing a strategy targeting adult drinking. This is what the committee has done.
The study can be read at (Reducing Underage Drinking)

The study recognizes that the best way to help our young people to choose not to drink alcohol is to teach adults not to drink alcohol! It worked with tobacco and I believe it can work with alcohol too! Unfortunately that is not yet their focus.

Why do I think parents should choose not to drink alcohol?

1. Modeling or example is the best teacher.

2. A double standard doesn’t work.

3. Telling a child they should not drink until they are twenty-one is a temporary and potentially devastating solution which teaches them that drinking alcohol is ok. What happens, when they become twenty-one, and they choose to drink and end up destroying their life anyway? The first drink can be the beginning of alcoholism. Fifty percent of those who have alcoholics in their family can become alcoholic. It can also lead to a DUI, at any age, as well as all of the other violent crimes committed while people are drunk.

4. Why teaching our kids to only drink in moderation is a bad choice! Because moderation teaches, “It’s OK to drink alcohol.” There is no safety in teaching moderation. The only safety is in teaching abstinence. Besides, if you are trying to save your kids from the damage alcohol can do and you drink in moderation you are supporting the alcohol industry by giving them money for their products. Aren’t you enabling the alcohol industry to continue their mission to make money, so they can continue to destroy our kids, and families?

There is also another common argument. It is thought; if children are taught to drink at home they will be more responsible. This may be true in some cases but in European countries where this is done, the study reports that these countries are no better off than the United States in terms of the harmful consequences of youth’s drinking. Besides underage drinking is a crime and if you encourage your child to drink alcohol you are breaking the law!

Many churches have taught moderation and are now paying a price. They have alcohol problems in their congregations. Some of them have an anti drinking campaign, themselves.

5. As parents, we need to teach our children to naturally and fully use the abilities, gifts and talents they have been blessed with and encourage them to reach their life’s purpose and potential. How can they do that if they use a temporary substance to handle their life or avoid growth? If they think they need a drink of alcohol to have fun, handle a problem or escape from a situation, they will never discover their own capabilities. They will never develop the skills needed to enjoy life to the fullest. Kids need to see adults who do fully live their lives without the crutch of alcohol. They need to understand that life is fulfilling, enjoyable and successful without alcohol.

We love our children and we want to provide for them a healthy life style, which they can enjoy, their whole life. We want to do everything we can, as parents; to be sure they have the opportunity to fully live their lives. We want to keep them safe and in good health. ****Good parents set good examples for their kids****

6. Mothers, who drink alcohol, during pregnancy, may give birth to babies with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or fetal alcohol effects (FAE). Children with FAS may have mental retardation, facial and limb irregularities, heart defects, behavioral problems, shorter height, and lower birth weight.

In conclusion, choosing not to drink alcohol is a choice parents can make for the success and happiness of their kids and for themselves. If our kids mess up their lives because they choose to drink alcohol, you can be sure your life will be messed up too!

Why do I say this? None of us are immune from the ravages of alcohol abuse. Alcohol has affected my family too. My grandfather and father were alcoholic and each died at the age of 57 after devastating our lives when they got drunk. When I was a teenager I began to drink alcohol but thankfully chose to quit when I had kids. My husband has also stopped. We were not alcoholic but realized abstinence was a better choice for the sake of our kids and the results have been wonderful. In our personal family we do not have tragic alcohol stories about our children.

Unfortunately my extended family has not been as fortunate. Some family member parents chose not to quit drinking alcohol and others chose to quite too late. Some of our younger generation live the consequences of being in jail, are alcoholic and or are addicted to drugs.

None of us have a guarantee that our children will follow our good example. Each child is given the gift of choice, but we can rest assured, if they choose to go down a negative path, we did not contribute to it and by our good example we offer them a better path to return to. In the Bible it says: Teach a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.

From my personal experience, I can testify that choosing not to drink alcohol has brought good consequences to my family. “It is in the home that we form our attitudes.” I encourage all parents to choose abstinence. It is one of the greatest gifts you will give to your kids.