One of the best parts of the holiday season is getting the chance to socialize with the people in your life. Whether you host a holiday gathering at your home or attend one elsewhere, these celebrations can be enjoyable and offer the opportunity to catch up with long-time friends or family members.
Alcohol often comes along with these celebrations. Having drinks at social events may help some unwind and make socializing easier. But overdoing it sends the wrong message to kids and underage nieces, nephews, cousins or family friends that may also be attending the party. This holiday season, set a good example for the youngsters by modelling healthy behaviours.
Be a Role Model
Provide good examples for teens and children to follow. Kids pick up on your attitudes and behaviours towards a number of things, including alcohol, and often copy what they see. When you drink in moderation, or choose not to drink at all, you show them that alcohol isn’t essential for having fun. Here are some tips to help you avoid over-drinking:
- Eat before and while you drink.
- Alternate between having alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Show that you don’t need to drink. Say “no thanks” sometimes when offered alcohol.
- Talk openly about alcohol, but avoid giving the impression that drinking is glamorous or the only way to have fun.
- Set your limits, stick to them and drink slowly. Stick to Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and have no more than 2 drinks in any 3 hours.
- Don’t drink and drive; plan a safe ride home before going out, and never let others drive after drinking.
From thousands of years of experience, humans have learned three rules about drinking alcohol: not too much, not too often, and only in safe contexts. By following these rules, you pass on that knowledge and show kids what moderate drinking looks like – it’s about enjoying the benefits of alcohol while avoiding harms to yourself, your family, and others.
How will you model low-risk drinking habits this holiday season?
Did you know? Parents are the biggest influence on their kids’ choices and behaviours.
Author’s Bio: Today's blog is written by Manik Saini. Manik is a policy analyst at the BC Ministry of Health. While recognizing that alcohol is a big part of our culture, he works to reduce its negative impacts on British Columbians. He’s looking forward to blogging for Healthy Families BC. Welcome aboard Manik!