Drinking in front of the kids

Posted by Liz D.

I recently got together with some of my girlfriends for a night out-with kids. Because a couple of us were single parents, the hostess decided everyone would leave the guys at home. So we gathered at my neighbor’s house for pizza-eight moms and 18 kids in all. Our kids are between the ages of 4 and 16 and have grown up together. They can hang out for hours, so they looked forward to the evening as much as the moms.

Besides pizza, and games for the kids, the night included glasses of wine and girly drinks like margaritas. (Before you jump all over me, realize that all of us live on the same block, so no one was in danger of getting into a car, drunk, with a bunch of kids in car seats.) The evening led me to wonder-is it OK to drink in front of your kids? And, I’m going to sound sexist here, but is it different when it’s moms getting together? After all, guys, football and beer still seem to be able to co-exist.

Because I have a 16-year-old who will get his driver’s license in two weeks, I worried that we were setting the wrong example-that we were showing him that getting together as adults meant drinking. On the other hand, no one got drunk and stupid, so did we show him that drinking can be done responsibly?

I don’t have any answers-just more questions as my kids get old enough to pay more attention to what the grownups in the room are doing. And the older my kids get, the more I wonder about the impact of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’

Which leads me back to my question, is drinking in front of the kids OK? Does it make a difference if it’s a mom or a dad doing the drinking? Share your thoughts.

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