One of the things we as parents worry about the most is whether or not our kids are going to be safe from one day to the next. One way to make sure they are as safe as they can be is to find a way to keep them away from alcohol, at least until they are old enough to make the legal and informed choice to start drinking. The big question is, how do we effectively teach your kids to stay away from alcohol? There are a couple of different approaches you can take in order to get the message across effectively.
Focus on the Positive Aspects of Avoiding Alcohol
When you are trying to convince your child that they should avoid alcohol, you are going to find that you have better luck starting out with the positives that will come from avoidance. One of the ways you can go about doing this is by praising your child for avoiding it so far. Point out that they might even be avoiding it despite the fact that their friends have decided to try it. Point out how proud you are that they have gone against peer pressure.
Building up your child’s self-confidence is never a bad thing. It’s even better when you are trying to make sure they make the right decision. Pointing out you are proud of them, without making it a guilt trip is always going to be more effective than attempting to make them feel bad about disappointing you. By building up their self-confidence, praising them for deciding not to take up alcohol you are also making it more their decision, rather than asking them not to do something. Children are naturally going to be looking for boundaries and if you clearly lay out a red line off the bat, they might end up just looking to see what they can do in order to cross that red line.
Don’t Strike Too Much Fear into Them
While you want to make sure your kids know they should stay away from alcohol, you don’t want them thinking there’s a point of no return. Sometimes that fear can lead them towards the thing you want them to stay away from at all costs. Let them know they can work with a DWI lawyer in order to try and get out of trouble should it come to that. They should also know this is the last ditch issue, but there is a way to try and reduce the trouble they get into.
Explain the Dangers and Consequences
After you have laid the groundwork by praising them and focusing on the positive, it’s time to lay out the negatives. Make sure they understand they really are breaking the law when they are drinking alcohol underage. You should also make sure they understand that people make poor decisions when they are under the influence. While they need to know the consequences, you should also lay out just how bad an idea it is, by showing the wrong decisions that have been made by people who were drinking. Laying out that they will be punished or yelled at isn’t going to get the desired effect. Help make the decision their own, with all the facts and you’ll have a much better chance of getting through to them.
By knowing they should stay away from alcohol, but their lives won’t be over if they slip, it will take the pressure off. This doesn’t mean they will go against what you are hoping they will do. By doing this, they will see that alcohol isn’t quite the attractive option they might have seen it as before the talk.