Lead by example, practice what you preach. Those are two phrases, you know, but does it help when teaching your kids about drugs and alcohol? I can tell you that most parents would say things like, Do what I say not what I do when it comes to drinking or smoking or whatever bad habit they're into. That's because most parents cannot fathom the idea of seeing their kids drink like they do or smoke like they do or whatever. But this is not a good approach to take if you want your children to be drug and alcohol free. Studies have shown that even moderate drug and alcohol use can have a negative long term consequence.
So it's crucial to look at your own drug and alcohol use. Some of you may be in recovery, or just choose not to drink or do drugs. But some of you may think it's no big deal if your kid sees you a little tipsy or even drunk at times. It is a big deal and you should stop. If you can't stop, you need to start taking the steps you need to take to eliminate drugs and alcohol from your life. If you are insisted on keeping them in your life, your job as a parent is just going to be that much harder, but not impossible if you just don't drink or do drugs around your children, so if you are going to be sure to do them at night after they're in bed, your kids should never see with drugs or alcohol.
The most common myth is that if you expose your child to moderate use of alcohol, then it'll take the Curiosity or excitement away and they'll be less likely to binge drink or partake in drugs and alcohol when they're older. This is an old wives tale, and study after study has proven this to be wrong. What has proven to be right though, is something called extended The age of first use my best friend who lived across the street, we grew up together. Her parents didn't drink at all. And my friend just wasn't interested in drinking or doing any drugs throughout high school. The few times she did drink was in college and she never really enjoyed it.
She thought hangovers were more more of a hassle than what it was worth. At her college graduation party. Her parents popped open a bottle of wine and we celebrated throughout the night. The conversation came up and I was curious. I had never seen her parents drink before. And here they were drinking wine and having a good time.
It turns out her parents didn't drink, but they never drank in front of their kids. It wasn't until she was in college did she discover this. She now has two boys of her own and then we'll enjoy a glass of wine or beer with her husband every now and then. But only after her kids are asleep. As we progress through this course, we're going to talk about very specific things to do and say, and it's going to be difficult to do those things if you're not leading by example. My challenge to you right now is to monitor your own drug or alcohol use.
Make a note of how many hours per day you're using drugs or drinking in front of your children, and take steps to make that not happen. For example, if you come home from work and crack open a beer at five o'clock, try not to crack open a beer until six o'clock each week. And each week you can aim for an hour later. Eventually, you'll crack open that first beer after your kids go to bed. Now, if drinking or drugs is a problem for you, like if you can't actually do this, then take steps to make a personal change. Maybe you can take one of my addiction courses here.
You dummy, or maybe you search for another alternative like a counseling or psychotherapy, whatever it is, do your best and be your best and your children will follow in your footsteps.