Teaching “Responsible Drinking” to Our Children

Alcohol consumption can be a contentious issue in contemporary society. While the greatest underlying fear may be that individuals under the are of twenty-one may be encouraged to drive after drinking, the truth is that responsibility can still be taught if education begins early and certain aspects of the consequences of drinking are emphasized during the teaching process.

Start Young
Almost all age-based issues in life are usually focused on the age of eighteen, but with alcohol society tends to send mixed signals. These mixed signals could well be where the breakdown begins when explaining responsible drinking to those who are under legal drinking age because often the raised barrier will also silently suggest that unauthorized drinking is a form of rebellion. For many teens, alcohol consumption is considered a “right of passage” between the void of eighteen and twenty-one years of age, or even younger. This could potentially be reduced significantly with a structured approach to discussing the perils of alcohol consumption well before reaching the age where they will finally have an opportunity to choose. Solid information can be important.

Physiological Impact
One of the most effective forms of teaching drinking responsibility is an honest discussion of what happens to the body when alcohol is consumed. This information should ideally include the damage to the body, and the liver in particular, from regular long-term habitual drinking. All humans are creatures of habit, and alcohol consumption is a good example of where teaching general moderation in most things is a good overall personal living policy. Alcohol is a depressant drug that acts like a stimulant, so the results of drinking changes as the concentration wears off and the body returns to normal sobriety. The after effects actually are often unpleasant enough after over-drinking that it becomes a natural deterrent, but explaining what is happening to body should also be taught.

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