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Moms Talk: Does Parents' Drinking Influence Kids?

Here is today's issue for our Moms Council. Please weigh in with your comments.

Today's question for our Sherman Oaks Patch Moms Council: Should parents limit or curtail their drinking in order to discourage their children from drinking?

Feel free to weigh in on this question in the comments section of our site.

 We invite comments from our Sherman Oaks Moms Council members: Linda Arbiter, Michele Dahl, Randi Green and Rose Sevilla.

Rose Sevilla June 29, 2011 at 02:42 PM
When children witness their parents engaging in positive behavior while drinking (a glass of wine with dinner, a relaxing and cool beer or two while watching a game), it sets up for them a model for responsible choices. However, binge or excessive drinking, which can turn the parent into a Mr. or Mrs. Hyde of sorts, can have harmful effects on kids. As the daughter of a (recovering) alcoholic, I tend to avoid alcohol at this point in my life. I don't ever want my children to see me so inebriated or incapacitated that I am unable to fulfill my duties as their parent. Though I will have a single drink here or there, and perhaps one more if I'm without the kids, I hope that my behavior in consuming alcohol demystifies it somewhat for them (i.e., Mum drinks, but doesn't overdo it). I'm prepared for ending up with at least one of them someday coming home tipsy regardless of the way I've modeled this choice, but I hope we'll have an open line of communication that prevents each of them from partaking in behavior which could harm themselves or others.
Randi Green June 29, 2011 at 08:18 PM
I currently have two teens and we've had many recent discussions on this issue. Our chilren look to us to model behaviors and the old axiom, "Do as I say, not as I do" has no place here. My children see that my husband and I only drink socially, when friends are over for dinner or we're at a party, we never drink hard liquor, nor do we drink to the point of being inebriated. We've discussed with them, ad naseum the hazards of being out of control and, more importantly, the dangers of drinking and driving. I have no doubt that their first sips of alcohol will be long before their 21st birthdays, but I'm going to let them know that just because one can drink, doesn't mean that they should get drunk. I've also made it clear to them that should they find themselves unable to drive for any reason, they can call us, no questions asked, and we'll get them.

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