Tools to Stop Drinking for Parents

Holidays, family gatherings, celebrations — have you noticed that every time your family gets together, alcohol plays a central role? Have you wondered what sort of message that might send to your teenaged children? What’s the best way to stop drinking, for you, and how can you prevent your teenagers from drinking?

Tools for Your “Abstinence Toolkit”

  • The best way to stop drinking includes being honest with yourself and your family. Addiction is a disease in which denial is a major component. Be a role model for breaking through denial with honesty. This includes being honest about any family history of alcoholism or addiction, and talking about the negative consequences of addiction.
  • You don’t need to struggle in solitude. If you are trying to quit drinking, or if you believe your teenager needs to stop drinking, use community supports, including faith-based counseling or supports, self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or counselors at school or in your workplace. There are many different ways to seek and receive support from community members who really care about having a safe and healthy community.
  • Say “No.” One of the best ways to stop drinking is to set a firm and clear limit in your home that no underage drinking will be tolerated. Don’t get tempted to be that “cool” parent who allows the parties at your home. Say “no” to illegal underage drinking and communicate that in advance clearly and consistently to your teenager.
  • Demonstrate responsible drinking behavior in your home and in public. Show your teen that limiting alcohol consumption, and turning down drinks is done with ease.
  • Educate, coach and practice with your teen. Help your teen think through what to say and what to do in drinking situations where he or she feels pressured or awkward. Help them come up with strategies that they feel will work well for them.

The best way to stop drinking is the way that will be effective for your family. Early intervention yields the best outcomes, so don’t hesitate to seek support and assistance from professionals. One day your teen will thank you for being strict! Sources 

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