Speaking to children about the dangers of drinking and driving can be difficult. After all, most children have witnessed their parents enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the past. A child can have a difficult time distinguishing between the acceptability of responsible drinking and the dangers of driving while under the influence. Here are some points to consider when developing a plan to introduce the topic to a child.
Model Proper Behavior
Even before the first discussion of drinking while intoxicated, children have begun developing their attitudes and perceptions about alcohol. If the adults in their life use alcohol responsibly and make sober driving a top priority, subsequent conversations are much easier. Otherwise, the entire conversation can come off as a contradiction to the child.
The Importance of Honesty
It is absolutely crucial that the adults in the conversation utilize complete honesty with their children when discussing this topic. More than anything, the magnitude of the mistake and the consequences associated with it must be conveyed. Lies and half-truths tend to dull the impact of this type of conversation. For that reason, adults need to prepare to be completely truthful when discussing the dangers of driving under the influence.
Proper Conduct Versus Safety
It is absolutely inappropriate for an child under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. However, drinking and driving is a different topic. While a poor choice to consume alcohol is surely a danger to a child, the choice to drive drunk can kill any number of people. The conversation with a child, then, is more about information than it is about regulation. Consequently, the conversation should focus on information, not parental demands.
Sometimes, whether due to past history or a strained relationship with the child, it can be beneficial to bring in professional support. There are a number of agencies and professional care providers that can assist you. It is a simple task to call for a consultation and explore the available options with any of these resources.
An adult’s conversation with their child about drinking and driving is one of the rare occasions where a single action can literally save lives. Because of this, it is absolutely imperative to approach this discussion in the proper fashion. By keeping these ideas in mind as preparations are made, adults can ensure that their children are armed with the knowledge and perspective they need to make informed, responsible choices.