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Alcohol and Parenting

When children consume alcohol it poses a threat to the child and to society. Although the government and school systems have many programs in place that are geared toward getting children to abstain from alcohol, it is important to understand that alcohol and parenting go hand in hand.

Underage drinking happens frequently and is viewed as a substantial issue by many individuals in America. Legislation has been passed to prevent individuals under 21 years old from buying or consuming alcohol; for the most part, this attempt has been futile. School alcohol education programs typically attempt to convince students to abstain now and in the future by teaching them that alcohol is a poison and by equating it with illicit drugs, and by stating that it is a gateway drug that results in marijuana use, which leads to other hard drugs.

Despite all these efforts and the billions of dollars spent, young people are still consuming alcohol, with many starting to drink as early as 9 or 10 years old, hence spiraling into alcoholism in their later years. Drinking is seen all around the world; almost everyone drinks. While many individuals drink often, many also have very few drinking problems. Many of these different groups of people include Americans, Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Jews, and Portuguese. But how do they manage to drink and not become an alcoholic?

The answer is alcohol is not a poison and it's not a magic potion that can solve an individual's problems. What is important is how the alcohol is used. Individuals can either choose to abstain from drinking alcohol or drink responsibly and moderately. Abusing alcohol is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

Alcohol and parenting are so closely related that often the determination of whether a child will become an alcoholic is dependent on whether the parent themselves is an alcoholic. Parents have more influence over their children than anyone or anything else, although because of the media (e.g. television, the Internet) parents often feel as though they do not have much power over their children. But the truth is, children emulate what their parents do more often than not.

To guide children away from alcoholism, parents must strive to be good role models. They need to set decent examples of good drinking behavior. A parent who abuses alcohol should not be surprised if his child takes this path as well. Parents should also refrain from stigmatizing alcohol as a poison and teach their children that alcohol is not the problem; it is the abuse of it that's the issue.

A parent can set a good example for their child by either abstaining from alcohol use or by drinking responsibly, displaying maturity and good judgment. Drinking in moderation or practicing abstinence are equally acceptable alternatives for adults, therefore, parents must teach this to their children as well. Any other behavior is ineffective and irresponsible.

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