As your child’s first role model, you can show them how to drink alcohol and take medication responsibly.
In Australia many of us use alcohol to celebrate, commiserate, relax, and have fun – and children pick up on this. If you drink alcohol regularly, it’s a good idea to show your children that it isn’t a necessity by considering doing the following from time to time:
It’s important to be your child’s parent, not their friend. If you use illegal drugs don’t use them when your child is around. You don’t have to tell your child about your own experiences with alcohol and drugs.
It’s not just our relationship with alcohol that gets passed down to our kids. Our attitudes towards medication can also have a big influence.
In Australia we are overusing pharmaceutical drugs, especially painkillers and medication to cope with stress, anxiety and insomnia. Like any other drugs, pharmaceuticals can have side effects so it’s important to only take them when necessary and to follow the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.
You can teach your child early how to manage minor aches and pains without painkillers, such as:
How you role model stress relief is important in shaping your child’s future behaviour. In Australia, 40% of us drink alcohol to manage stress, 18% smoke tobacco, and 8% take other drugs.6 Equipping your child with coping strategies and positive habits from a young age can benefit them over the course of their life.
Teaching your child how to understand and manage their emotions can help them deal with future problems successfully, like the stress of tests or bullying in school. If they’re used to talking with you about their feelings it makes it more likely that they’ll talk to you if they’re worried, anxious, or unhappy and ask for help.
You can teach your child resilience by: