Christmas. It’s a time for excess. Food, drink and television. Mindlessly partaking in everything, all day long.
Even families that don’t normally have alcohol around the house suddenly have bursting drinks cabinets and wine continuously flowing. Suddenly alcohol is a feature in every meal and snack, like making all your coffees “Irish”.
Whether we admit it or not, we do have an issue with alcohol in this country. Even those who avoid it normally cannot miss it in the run-up to Christmas. A good example of this is the 12 pubs, a phenomenon that has taken off for people in the last few years.
It gets a lot of bad press; every year pubs announce they’ll not be entertaining them.
It may fill you with fear, incredulity or confusion to think your son or daughter might be involved in something like this. But, the reality is, our attitudes towards alcohol can inadvertently be picked up from our parents.
“Modelling” is a one of the most effective ways to reach young people and help them develop positive attitudes towards wellbeing, exercise and of course, alcohol.
When you think about it, most young people are too smart to take to the “do as I say, not as I do” mantra.
If possible try to introduce healthier drinking habits throughout the year. For example, try not make the link between a stressful day and a glass of wine or beer the minute you get in the door.
Young people will see this and may have the same association.
For years people thought introducing alcohol with the family dinner to children under 18 years-old meant they would develop positive attitudes towards alcohol. However, this is no longer thought to be the case.
In fact normalising alcohol like this is thought to cause problems later on.
We’re not trying to dampen the fun, it’s important to let your hair down. Just suggesting we all try to be more aware of our behaviour around drink.
Whether your children are at the age where they’re drinking with you or not, they can still be influenced by you. We know, that may be hard to believe!