Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Note to Parents: WE Are Our Kids' Role Models

At the risk of sounding like a scrooge or a grinch--or maybe just a plain old killjoy--I've decided to go ahead and write this blog post.

Those of you who know me know that I'm on Facebook a lot. It's one of the primary ways I network with the recovery community and share my writing.

I've been on Facebook a long time, and there aren't a whole lot of things that bother me when it comes to what other people post on their pages. But one thing that has always bothered me is this:

Parents posting photos of themselves partying with alcohol.

I've seen several of these photos lately; maybe it's because the holiday season is upon us and people are hosting or attending Christmas parties. And while I understand that not everyone leads an alcohol-free life, as parents we should know that WE are the role models for our kids. What we do has a tremendous amount of influence on our children, whether we like it or not.

Sure, people will argue that they're adults and they have a right to do whatever they want. But I'm a firm believer in parenting by example. If your kids see your alcohol-related photos posted on Facebook, what kind of message do you think that sends to them?

In his terrific book Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy, David Sheff writes:

“A study undertaken by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that children of alcoholics were four times more likely than other kids to become alcoholics. Kids who have seen their parents drunk are five times more likely than kids who haven’t to get drunk one or more times a month.”

If you're the parent of a teen or tween, think twice about what you're posting on your own Facebook page. It's very likely that your child(ren) will see it, so use common sense. (That's what you tell your kids to do when it comes to Facebook, right??)

Bottom line: If you're out partying this holiday season--or any season, for that matter--it's probably not the best idea to post photos of your imbibing self on Facebook.

I will now step down from my soapbox.


"We should never permit ourselves to do anything that we are not willing to see our children do. We should set them an example that we wish them to imitate." --Brigham Young

This may be an extreme example, but you get the idea, right?

1 comment:

  1. Parents often get frustrated with the fact that their children aren't listening and do not realize that they are actually watching. Great reminder about the importance of the behaviors we, as parents, model to our children in all areas.