Keep your child informed about the dangers of alcohol
Even if your child is way below the legal drinking age, it is never too early to ask questions and find out how you can raise your child to be alcohol-free or, at least, a responsible drinker in future.
You will probably face social situations whereby alcohol drinks are offered to you during celebrations and happy occasions. It is up to you to make a call whether to pick up that glass of alcohol and if you do, to determine how much to drink. Do bear in mind that your child could be present and might ask what you are drinking.
Alcohol affects the brain, and can cause changes to a person’s mood or behaviour. Alcohol can cause disinhibited behaviour — a person may lose control of his/her emotions or behaviour, or engage in dangerous activities. For some, drinking alcohol might also lead to violent behaviour .
Binge drinking is defined as having five or more standard alcoholic drinks on one occasion for males, and four or more standard alcoholic drinks for females. Short term effects of binge drinking include getting drunk, nausea and vomiting, blurred or double vision and hangovers. If very large amounts of alcohol are consumed, binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and death .
Long term consequences of heavy and frequent drinking include alcohol addiction, malnutrition, liver disease, brain damage, stomach cancer, kidney damage and erectile dysfunction [1,3]
Remember, if you choose to drink at home or outside, avoid drinking beyond the
recommended limits for men and women.
Is it all right to drink in front of my child? Just a sip of alcohol would not hurt, would it?
As a parent, you want to be a positive role model for your child. If you choose to drink alcohol, avoid drinking in your child's presence.
Studies have shown that children who have witnessed their parents drinking or being drunk have a greater risk of drinking during their teenage years, as compared to children who have not been exposed to such behaviour during their childhood years.
Did you know that children can be easily influenced by alcohol from a very young age? Reports have found that children as young as three years old are aware of their parents' consumption of alcohol or cigarettes.
"If you choose to drink, avoid drinking in front of your child."
Such attitudes about alcohol consumption become increasingly positive as the child gets older. By the age of 10, many children associate drinking with being liked by peers, feeling good and having increased confidence.
To prevent your child from drinking alcohol at a young age and/or having drinking problems in future, it is important to communicate openly with him/her.
You may wish to adapt the following suggestions to suit your family values and cultural circumstances.
Step 1: Using the masking tape, prepare a straight line about 1-2 metres in length.
Step 2: At one end of the line, hold the bat or stick upright. (You can demonstrate this step and the next steps to your child first before letting him/her try it).
Step 3: Bend down, and rest your child’s forehead on the top of the stick.
Step 4: Keep his/her head down and spin him/her around the stick 10 times.
Step 5: Encourage your child to walk in a straight path along the line.
Debunk marketing myths about alcohol. Use these talking points with your child when alcohol advertisements are screened on TV.
Myths Alcohol Advertisers Want Us to Believe
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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