If you want sobriety for your kids, live sobriety for yourselves.
You can parent only the best you can parent. There are bookstores full of parenting books to help you be the best parent you can be. Ultimately, children learn from example. The best way to show kids how great a sober lifestyle can be is to live it yourself. Do your best not to drink, especially to a state of drunkenness, in front of the kids. When they get to an experimental age it is best not to encourage drinking activities, but show them the many fun ways life can be lived through sobriety.
If you need help, ask for it.
Of course there is a chance that living sober is not something you do well. Your children might be more inclined to try alcohol as a coping mechanism if they have witnessed to your adverse drinking behaviors. Silently suffering from alcoholism or addiction while trying to encourage your children’s sobriety will not work out for either attempt. Rather than exemplify the shame and guilt surrounding alcoholism, exemplify hope and courage. It is courageous to ask for help and have hope for a better future.
If your attempts don’t work, it’s okay.
Despite our best efforts, we cannot control every aspect of our children. They have the autonomous ability to think their own thoughts and make their own decisions. Deciding to drink and experiment with drugs may be a passing trial. Even with the best example set, the healthy restriction on drugs and alcohol, our children might develop addictions of their own.
If you feel out of control, don’t.
Empowerment as a parent is the second best example we could set for our children. Convicted by our choices and values, we stay true to the course of our sobriety. Be resourceful, and show your children that you’re willing to do the work to find out information and use it. If you don’t have an answer, it’s better to show them how to find one.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, do.
When our children start drinking, it is easy to become enthralled in their activity. We have to maintain a healthy level of self-care in order to take care of others. Like the instructions on airplanes, the adults have to secure their oxygen masks first. Showing children how to have self-compassion is a valuable lesson.