Preventing your kids from getting into your liquor cabinet is an age-old parental problem, and a lot of times, parents might feel like it's impossible to keep their kids from drinking. This is a topic that's like an octopus; many problems stemming from a central issue. However, by talking with your children and not just leaving them in the dark with a warning not to touch anything, you can help them avoid the pressure to drink and avoid the temptation to break into your liquor cabinet.
Set an Example
It's tough to tell your children not to drink alcohol when you've just ordered a whole case of your favorite rum from a store like Liquor Boy. But you can still set an example by not drinking constantly and by ensuring you don't drink enough to get drunk. If you want your children to treat alcohol as something that's not necessary for having fun or for relaxing, then you need to show your kids that you can relax and have fun while sober. If the kids don't see alcohol as something that's going to make them have a good time, they'll be less likely to head for it when you're not around.
Talk to Your Children About Why They Think the Way They Do
If you're watching the news and a story comes on about a drunk celebrity doing something stupid, and your child laughs, you might want to ask why he or she found it funny. You'd think a celebrity doing something stupid while drunk would elicit an eyeroll and a sarcastic comment, but if your child is laughing at what the person did while drunk, try to get the child to think about why he or she treated that as a form of entertainment. Talks like that can help your child start to think critically about why alcohol is so accepted and such an instrument of peer pressure.
Mean What You Say
You can't watch your kids all the time, and you do need to start letting them be independent so that when they go off to college or start working, they'll be able to survive. But you also have to be aware of all the sneaky things kids can do -- and you have to be able to stand your ground and not treat transgressions as jokes. If you set a penalty for finding out your kids were drinking, for example, enforce it.
The one caveat is that you need to help the kids deal with peer pressure. This is where allowing them to call you to get them out of a sticky situation, no questions asked, is essential. For example, if you tell your kids they'll be grounded for drinking, and you catch them drinking, ground them. But if your kids call you from a party and say that people have been pressuring them to drink and they're not feeling good, you need to assure them that you'll come get them and not punish them for what happened, because in this case, there was an involuntary aspect.
Keeping your kids away from alcohol is going to be an ongoing process, but don't give up. You can show your children that alcohol needs to be treated responsibly.