Sometimes as parents, we forget that our children emulate what they see and hear. I babysat my 16-month-old grandson yesterday and he grabbed everything in sight. I threw my hands up and laughed and said Grrrrrrr only to watch him say and do exactly the same thing. I put my slippeers on, he wanted to put them on, I wiped the counter, he wanted the sponge to wipe it. He repeats everything, including gestures and noises. It made me painfully aware that I better watch my every move around him!
One of my daughters is in recovery from a 50 bag a day heroin substance use disorder. It started with alcohol, then marijuana. I found a bottle of vodka in her soccer bag at 15 years old. I don’t know for sure if I could have prevented it, but being informed and educated on the risk factors and protective factors may have given me the insight to recognize and to know the signs and symptoms of abuse.
Our family loves to entertain, especially during the holidays. All the parties are at our house. Thinking back, a lot of the “celebrating” revolved around drinking. Children watch our every move and associate drinking with adults having a good time. They also see when you come home from a long tough day, that you might say things like “ Wow…. What a day! So stressful! As you pour yourself a glass of wine.
Our children will imitate us and think, that’s what I should do to have a good time or relieve my stress!
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a glass of wine. I’m saying that you should drink responsibly and be careful how you present yourself in front of your kids.
During this holiday season make the effort; Talk to your children. Help reduce the risk of underage drinking. Help reduce the risk of future alcohol and drug problems. Be mindful that they are soaking up every little thing that you do and say. Remember, Monkey See, Monkey Do!
Have a safe, healthy, happy and peaceful New Year!J