Is It Ok to Drink Around Your Children?

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Alcohol is a part and parcel of millions of people’s lives around the world. In some cases, it’s a relatively healthy relationship, in others it’s less so. But when children are involved, it starts to become a little more complicated.

Many people ask the question, is it OK to drink in front of children? And let’s face it, it’s a rather complex one.

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There are an awful lot of scenarios that have an awful lot of different answers. And an awful lot of experts have had their say on it. 

Let’s start with the extreme. For those suffering with an alcohol addiction, it’s never going to be the best idea to drink in front of children – but then the addiction element of that is going to make it significantly difficult to avoid that and avoid a child being affected by that. The best possible scenario is to seek alcohol rehab, go through the recovery process and try to keep alcohol completely out of their lives.

When it comes to casual drinkers, it’s a little more interesting and the setting can play a big part in it. Mayra Mendez, a licensed psychotherapist in California, believes that children should typically avoid being taken to bars, stating: “Children under the age of 12 benefit from open spaces, freedom to play, move, and explore, and thrive on social engagement, reciprocity, and companionship.”

“The environment in a bar is typically dark, loud, stagnant, and lacking playful stimulation that promotes learning and social connections.”

However, choosing a more family friendly venue while drinking alcohol responsibly is less of a problem, with children free to roam and enjoy themselves.

When it comes to drinking at home, again, it’s all about moderation and not exactly making it look “fun”. Children can tell the difference in inebriation and the knock on effect really comes if a parent starts to forget to do a bedtime story or part of a routine as an effect of drinking alcohol.

Ultimately, parents know their own children though and their own parenting styles. What is important is for parents to discuss drinking alcohol with a child on a level that they understand for their age. Naturally, as they get older, the implications of drinking alcohol should be clearly expressed and protecting your child should be paramount. If that means you should not drink alcohol around your child because they like to copy you or are easily led, then that’s a decision that has to be made. 

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