Alcohol free parenting for me began when I quit drinking
When you quit drinking, you’re not only changing your own life but also the lives of those around you. For parents, this includes their children. Kids who grow up with a parent who has a drinking problem sometimes feel at fault for their parents drinking. They can also be a part of unnecessary tension and drama and have a lack of support from their families. Children with drinking parents may grow up to abuse alcohol themselves. Alcohol use is so normalized today that it is often hard to tell what will or will not affect your child as they grow into adulthood.
When alcohol is removed from the picture, life still isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than it was. If you’re considering life without alcohol, here are five ways your choice to remove it will positively affect your kids’ futures:
Kids will see you overcome obstacles
Removing alcohol from your life isn’t easy. It can be quite difficult for some people. Struggling over an unhealthy habit will show your kids that life isn’t always easy, but that you can move past a difficult situation and better yourself. Once the alcohol is out of the picture, there may be a lot of other issues for you to deal with. You may be stressed, have anxious feelings, and trouble socializing and keeping yourself busy. Your kids are always watching. When they see you confront and work through these situations, they will be more capable to do so themselves when the time comes.
In an alcohol free environment you all learn new coping skills
We all have good days and bad days. Without alcohol to lean on as a coping mechanism or to de-stress after a long day, you’ll need something to replace it. Try different things to see what works for you and consider this your sobriety-toolbox. You can even get your kids involved. Take them to the store to pick out some non-alcoholic beverages, go for a walk, or read a book together. Have a conversation with them about what you do to ease your mind when you’re stressed and ask them what they think helps them. This open communication will help you to build trust with your kids. You can work on the 8 C’s coloring book and express your feelings together.
Alcohol free parenting means you’re more present
Being an alcohol-free parent means your mind is no longer altered while you are spending time with your children. However, no one is perfect and there are many other things to hijack our attention. We still have work, our phones, and other daily activities that can disrupt this mindful parenting. Without alcohol, it’s much easier to be present but it’s also easier to recognize when you aren’t. Self-awareness is such an important skill to develop. Once you get the hang of it, you can teach your kids how to be more mindful and present too.
Alcohol free parenting means setting good examples for a change
Alcohol causes people to do a lot of things they would not have done if they were sober. It alters your mood and thought processes and lowers your inhibitions. Without it, you won’t be making a fool of yourself or saying inappropriate things. Your kids won’t have to wonder what their parents are going to say or do today. Maybe you’ll still embarrass them, but it will be YOU doing it not the alcohol, and you will remember it and be able to own it.
Everyone will be healthier and safer
Not drinking gives you a lot more time and energy. You will also have more motivation to move your body or spend time outdoors. Your eating habits might not be perfect now, but you can be more conscious about the foods you are eating when you’re sober or not hungover. Without drinking, you’ll probably go to bed earlier and get more restful sleep than you used to. Teaching your kids healthy sleep habits can do wonders for their routines and their overall health.
No one is perfect, and this is not to suggest that you won’t struggle without drinking. You’ll just be able to face those struggles head-on without being in an altered state of mind. When alcohol is removed from the picture life tends to be better than it was in a lot of ways, including being a good role model for your kids. Check out sober curious benefits.
By Blair Sharp On Wednesdays, Blair hosts on the 1000 Hours Dry Parents Instagram page. We are a support community that promotes the alcohol-free/curious lifestyle. I retired from drinking in February of 2018 when my son was 18 months old. Being alcohol-free is a large part of my life, but it’s not everything.
I’m a wife and mom. I currently work full-time as a Psychometrist. I administer psychological and neuropsychological tests to patients. A lot of people don’t know what that means…I give them thinking tests.