Sex, drugs and alcohol…those are scary issues when you’re raising kids in today’s world. And saying, “Make good decisions, kids,” seems terribly inadequate to protect your kids from potential temptations.
OK. Confession: I don’t drink alcohol. My husband doesn’t drink. Our parents don’t drink. It’s just never been part of our family culture. When I was growing up, the only people in my family who drank were either dead or in jail. (No joke.)
As an adult, I’m still not interested in drinking but I do recognize not everyone ends up a wino who picks up a glass of wine! However, I’ve wondered how people who do drink expect to keep their
teenaged underaged kids from not drinking. It seems easier to just abstain than have to say, “Well, it’s OK for me! But not you!”
Then, the other day I had a conversation with a guy at church. He told me how he spoke to his 15-year-old son about alcohol. He simply said, “Watch how I drink.”
Wow. How bold is that for teaching about sex, drugs and alcohol?
He told the boy to notice that he only ordered bottled drinks at a restaurant so he could clearly gauge and keep track of how much alcohol he had consumed. He gave him other personal examples—including examples of when he had too much to drink and what to do then.
I was so impressed by this dad to bring the conversation to his son before his son had a chance to wonder or to experiment on his own. Here’s the thing—your kids are going to watch how you drink whether you tell them to or not. Are you willing to recognize those little eyes and be an example? The role model? The plumb line for how to interact with alcohol? Are you willing to apologize and course-correct when you mess up?