Be a role model for your children
Don't feel you can't drink in front of your children. Set a good example by drinking in moderation and being open with them about alcohol.
- Is it ok to drink in front of my children?
- Daily unit guidelines
- Talk to your kids
- Be open with your children
Is it ok to drink in front of my children?
Yes, research shows that from a young age children learn about acceptable behaviour by observing and copying their parents, so when it comes to drinking, it really is a case of leading by example.
What they see at home helps children think about how they’ll drink alcohol as an adult. So, just as children learn to walk and talk like their parents, they learn how to drink like them too. For example, there’s evidence that children whose parents drink moderately in front of them are less likely to drink to excess.
Daily unit guidelines
Drink within the government's daily unit guidelines. This shows your child that adults can enjoy alcohol in moderation. Use the tool below to find out if you are drinking within the daily unit guidelines.
Don’t feel hypocritical for drinking when you have told them they can’t. Instead, explain that alcohol is only for adults because their bodies have finished growing, and even adults have rules about how much they can drink.
Talk to your kids about different drinks having different strengths and let them know alcohol is measured in units. You could order a unit measure cup and show them what different measures of drink look like.
Talk to your kids
Sometimes it can seem like there’s always an excuse to drink, but children notice if their parents have different drinking patterns at special occasions or on holiday. To avoid confusing them, keep up a conversation that explains that usually you stick to the daily unit guidelines.
Be open with your children
If you do drink too much occasionally and have a hangover, don’t try and hide the symptoms, instead talk openly to your child about how you’re feeling, for example, having a headache or feeling sick and let them know the effects would be worse for them as they’re smaller and developing. This way they know too much alcohol can have a negative consequence and you avoid making alcohol a taboo subject.
Are you drinking too much?
Find out how many units you are drinking
Compare your drinking to the government's daily unit guidelines.Try our Unit Calculator
Take a drinking self assessment
Answer these simple questions and find out what kind of a relationship you have with alcohol.Assess your drinking
Page updated: May 2013
Did you know?
More than 1 in 10 deaths of people in their 40s are from liver disease, most are from alcoholic liver diseaseAlcohol and the liver
Calculate your calories
Find out how many calories are in your drinksTry our unit calculator
- The law on alcohol and under 18s
- Does my drinking affect my child?
- Your child or teenager's health
- How much is too much for under 18s to drink?
- When to talk to your children about alcohol