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Three Reasons Why Your Kids Will Love The New Sober You
Lack of energy, bad moods, not being the greatest role model, not being truly present, constantly hungover. No one ever plans on being a parent with a drinking problem. Yet it can happen so easily. Society tells us that having a few drinks is a normal way of coping with the stress of raising children. Indeed, society has normalized the archetype of the wine mom and beer dad. However, when you’re a parent whose drinking has become problematic, you affect not only yourself. Your kids look up to you and need you to be the best version of yourself. When it’s time to give up the booze, it’s time to be the best sober parent you can be. Your kids will love you even more for it.
If you are want to embrace sobriety, your children can be the biggest motivators. Your love for your kids can push you to seek help in taking back control over your life. The health benefits of quitting alcohol are well documented. While these are important, what matters more is finding the capacity to be present in your child’s life wholly and authentically. It’s crucial to understand the multiple ways becoming sober will enhance your role as a parent. When you take back control over your alcohol addiction, you are setting a powerful example for your children. What you are effectively showing them is how to face the challenges and obstacles life will invariably throw at them without resorting to drinking.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top three reasons why your kids will love the new sober you (even more).
Reason #1 – Being sober means having more energy
Let’s be honest: parenting is challenging. Children constantly require your energy and attention from the moment they first get out of bed in the morning until they go to bed at night. Whether it’s packing them off to school, running them to sports practice, preparing their meals or getting them ready for the bedtime routine to begin, the demands on your energy levels as a parent are quite high. There’s no better way to feel like a dud parent than trying to look after your kids when hungover.
Drinkers who are deep in their addiction typically only feel energized and at ease when drunk. This is not to mention only focusing on where their next drink is coming from. Becoming a sober parent will supercharge your energy levels and allow you to keep up with your kid’s unrelenting zest for life. And your kids will love it. Soon, you’ll be the cool parent who can keep up with their kid’s hectic pace.
Reason #2 – Keeping your kids safe
Looking after children means constantly being on guard. Being a parent carries the most important responsibility of all: keeping your child safe from harm. However, alcohol addiction can hamper a parent’s ability to remain vigilant. Indeed, it is not unknown for parents under the influence to lose track of their child’s whereabouts, allow risky behaviors, and even drive while intoxicated with their children in the car. Becoming a sober parent means you are giving yourself and your child the best chance of safely avoiding the many dangers that come with childhood. Once you’ve decided to stop drinking, you won’t have to live with the feelings of shame and guilt you get when you’re drinking instead of looking after your children.
Reason #3 – Being a role model
“Your kids watch you for a living. It’s their job; it’s what they do. That’s why it’s so important to try your best to be a good role model.” So said child behavior expert and author James Lehman. This fact alone should surely compel you to action. Indeed, for those who are alcohol dependent, having our children grow up to be like us is a very distressing thought.
For those of us who struggle with addiction, the thought of our children following in our footsteps can be one of our biggest fears. When raised by a parent who struggles with addiction, children are twice as likely to succumb to addiction themselves later in life. When you decide to get sober, you can actively model how a healthy adult should function for your children. Your child will love you all the more for the courage and perseverance you display in sticking to your sobriety goal.
Raising kids is hard at the best of times. However, when you mix in alcohol dependence, it becomes even more complicated and potentially dangerous. Deciding to live life sober stops all the damage alcoholism is doing to you and your relationship with your child, and it gives you a chance to be the best version of yourself you can be. Because, at the end of the day, that is what your child needs to thrive.