I just noticed that the age of youth engaged in drinking alcohols is getting younger. I am not against with it but I am just worried that I might experience this with my son. I admit that I started drinking occasionally when I was in late college year.
Though Papa can be considered regular drinker (As in araw-araw nakainom talaga!), he didn't influenced me nor invited me to have a drink with him, that was before. My peers are the ones who had let me taste the first alcohol I ever had.
I am not saying that Papa is not a good example for me but I thanked him for letting me know how to be a responsible drinker in a different way. Parang “reverse psychology” sabi nga.
Why I was not influenced by Papa? Here are the two main reasons that I think will answer this question.
I know how hard it is to be drunk. Not in the sense that I experience it before but I always observed from Papa and other older relatives. Pero minsan talagang nalalasing din ako. Di ba Mommy? I can really say how difficult to be drunk kasi na-experience ko na.
Mama’s reminder. Mama never prohibits me to be engaged in drinking. She always think that there might be a high risk that I may do the same as Papa. One reminder I always heard from her is: “Saka ka na magbisyo ng pag-inom kapag sariling pera mo na ang gagamitin mo pambili ng alak.” Very nice reminder, isn’t it?
Another, and I think the best: “Ayoko lang kasi na nakikita ko silang mag-ama na magkaharap sa inuman. Napapangitan ako.” So now, whenever Papa gave me a bottle of beer without refusal from Mama anymore, I'll just go inside my room or somewhere and will only go back to return the bottle and get another one. Hehehe.
I know that parents play a role model on how their kids, especially teens, become a responsible drinker. What they see will be an example for them. But in my case it is different. Some things I can share that may help your kids to become responsible drinkers are:
Never prohibit your kids in trying alcoholic drinks. I am not saying that alcohol is not bad to your kids. If they want, let them try but you must educate them properly. Let them know the possible effects and how much is just the right amount. This can also help them prepare if there are occasions where alcoholic drinks are free to anybody. They will not become ignorant in front of others because they did not know the tastes and effects of the alcohols offered. Trying to stop them will enhance curiosity.
One precaution that you should keep in mind as the song “Laklak” goes:
“Nagsimula sa patikim-tikim…
Pinilit kong gustuhin.
Bisyo’s nagsimulang lumalim
Kaya ngayon ang hirap tanggalin…”
So, still, keep an eye on them.
Furthermore, if you really don’t want them to have a try, don’t let them caught you drunk for they might ask why you prohibits them but you keep on doing it.
Don’t stop by saying “NO”. Explain to them the reasons why you are saying that they should not try it. Telling your weaknesses can be also a good way. It will not make you less of a parent if you tell them your experiences and the difficulties you encountered. Hang-overs, threw-up and even losing your virginity that you really regret afterwards (if it happened) are only few to mention.
Don’t let them buy it for you. This will only give them an impression that it is easy to buy alcohols in stores especially those who are not strictly following the rule that these must not be sold to minors.
How about you, what can you share to make your kids responsible drinkers in the future?