Mommy needs her wine? Modern motherhood and drinking alcohol seem to go hand in hand these days, via online commentaries and parody videos from some of today’s go-to parenting websites. Sure, it’s fun to watch… but does it affect kids?
There’s not much definitive research to link kids watching parents consume alcohol with abuse or addiction later in life, but drinking, behaving and explaining it all in moderation is a smart responsibility for parents to take on early. Roma Khetarpal, author of award-winning book “The Perfect Parent” and founder of ToolsofGrowth.com advises parents to be a good “rule models” for young children, as kids will model behavior seen at home immediately and/or in future. “Draw clear guidelines and boundaries for yourself, follow them and discuss if brought up in conversation. For example, saying ‘I usually only have two drinks… anything over that makes me not feel well’ or ‘I don’t drive even with ONE drink’ models actionable, clear limits for kids to understand.”
Honest conversation about risks and realities are important, but also be wary of giving too much detail that might not be age-appropriate. “Let kids lead the questions, and parents answer to the point. No need for ‘Oh I had a hangover last weekend and barely made it home…'” Khetarpal cautions.
Be mindful, present and conscious of words. Saying ‘Man, I NEED a drink’ might send an unintentional message to younger kids that can stick for years to come. Enjoy yourself! Balance is key.
Jill Simonian is a Parenting Lifestyle Contributor, appearing on CBS Los Angeles every Wednesday on News at 5pm and Friday mornings at 6:45am. Her personal blog is TheFabMom.com. Follow Jill on Twitter @jillsimonian and connect with her on Facebook.