In case you didn’t know, April is Alcohol Responsibility Month. As my kids get older, I’ve become much more invested in reevaluating my perspective on drinking and the examples I’m currently setting for my kids. has been my lifeline of resources and education on a myriad of topics associated with responsible drinking. 

An important message to send is that it doesn’t have to be a black-and-white approach—drink or don’t drink. I enjoy having a cocktail on date nights or celebrating with friends over wine. The difference is that it doesn’t consume my life, it’s not a set part of my routine. It’s all about drinking responsibly. I’ve been sharing my life on social media for a long time, and the societal and cultural expectations to drink to compensate for a bad day are everywhere. So this month, I want to challenge those notions and set a better example for my kids.

A mom and dad take a selfie with their two teenagers.A family of six gathers on a white couch for family game night.

The Social Standard on Responsible Drinking

We’ve all seen the memes on Instagram and Pinterest—”Wine Not,” “Rose All Day,” “Mommy Juice,” etc. I admit I’ve identified with them in the past. After a hard day or busy day running around doing everything for my kids, sometimes I want to pour myself a big drink and tune out for a bit. I think over time there’s been a slow but steady realization that the “Mommy needs a drink” memo is more harmful than it is humorful. While it may be intended just to be a funny drinking meme, these messages can make an impact on our kids’ perceptions of alcohol and responsible drinking. Honestly, it’s made an impact on me, too! 

A mom and her four kids sit on the grass.A mom and dad stand in the living room with their teenage son and daughter.

Changing the Narrative

I think it’s an important distinction to say that it’s not about the drink, but the message it perpetuates. The “needs alcohol” culture makes light of deeper feelings and situations. At the root of it, a cocktail or two can be traced back to a frustrating day or feeling upset. Instead of facing those emotions or finding healthy ways to cope, a drink can become the bandaid. It was eye-opening for me to realize that! Anyone find themselves in the same position? Now, I drink responsibly and hope that my kids learn by example, not what they see online.

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A brother and sister sit on a table in their backyard eating lunch.A mom and dad and their two sons pose for a picture at an airport.

Start With a Conversation

Communication is one of the core principles in the Schaffer household. And just as I expect and hope my kids will talk to me, I want to hold myself to the same standard. Instead of turning to the drinking trope, what if we instead had a conversation about what parents do need? I think it’s important to recognize and express we’re not superhuman. Because parents are people. Sometimes we have bad days.

I encourage all of us to have that conversation with our kids and let them know what we need on those days. Maybe it’s a day off, carving out time for self-care, going outside for a long walk. Whatever it is, let’s set the example for how to handle stressful days in a healthy way. Leading by example is one of the best ways for our kids to learn. Of course, we’re not perfect, but let’s make a difference where and when we can!

As always, has been my go-to for all of these kinds of conversations surrounding responsible drinking. The website is stocked with free resources for parents with kids as young as 6 years old all the way through college-age kids. There’s such a wide range of articles and topics on building a lifetime of conversations with our kids about responsibility. It starts at home, and it starts with us.

Have you listened to my podcast? Check out The Mom Confidential!

A funny quote on raising teenagers.A couple walks across the street in New York City.


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1 thought on “Setting A Better Example For Responsible Drinking”

  1. THANK YOU🙏🏼 this needed to be said and it is SO important. Beautiful, truthful, and empowering for both parents and kids! My sister and I have been talking about how our larger family vacations shouldn’t always include so much alcohol. I think we are inadvertently sending the message that “adults relax and have fun with booze. Period.” Even though we are usually pretty responsible with the drinking, we want them to see that we don’t always “need” it at every vacation. What if we didn’t have it for a whole week at the cabin? Could we grown ups possibly survive?! What would it do for our teenage kids to see us laughing and having fun together without it for once? Anyway just really appreciate this and am grateful for your words!


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