Diving into Alcohol Awareness
With a new study out about how allowing your kids to sip on alcohol can trigger teenage drinking, alcohol awareness should be a topic all parents discuss with their children. April is alcohol awareness month and a time to reflect on the prominent role of alcohol in our society.
We use alcohol for everything; we use it to celebrate, relax and retreat. While some of us can handle alcohol and know when to stop, others simply cannot. We are learning that there is a genetic component to alcoholism and the pattern runs in families. We also seem to forget that alcohol is ultimately recognized as sugar by the body. Trying to pretend that alcohol is healthy or needs to be part of a daily routine is unnecessary.
Take the month of April to think about the role of alcohol in your life and the examples you may be setting for your children. Determine the role of alcohol in your family. Personally, and for a number of reasons, we don’t like exposing our children to alcohol within our home. Between genetics, weight and cultural values, it is not a good fit for our family. Take time to step back and understand how your actions with alcohol might be affecting your body and your family.
Understand Your Family History
If alcoholism runs in your family, think about removing it completely from your home. Even if you can handle limiting the number of drinks you consume, chances are that there is a family member who cannot.
Expand Your Relaxation Tool Box
Don’t think of alcohol as the only way to relax or unwind. Establish an alternative end-of-day routine. Consider exercise, an evening walk or meditation as alternatives. Don’t laugh too hard, but I will use a small cup of warm milk at the end of a long day to get my brain to turn off!
There are so many creative and clever mocktails or alternative drinks for your gatherings! Try making fun smoothies or a healthy frozen lemonade. Try a homemade chai or fizzy party punch,sans alcohol, and skip the for adults only sign. Adding these types of drinks to your next event creates variety and options for those who don’t drink and makes it socially acceptable to skip drinking alcohol.
This April, try lowering your (and your family’s) exposure to alcohol by setting boundaries, a good example for your children and creating more options for relaxing! And like most good things we indulge in—moderation is key!