Ottawa Public Health says parents should be role models this New Year's Eve
Published Wednesday, December 30, 2015 5:32PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 30, 2015 6:48PM EST
New Year’s revelry often involves alcohol, sometimes to excess.
Ottawa Public Health is reminding parents about setting a positive example if alcohol is involved around their children.
“Children learn from example so if they see it happening at home or with their parents, they think it’s an acceptable behaviour and we have a lot of normalization, where alcohol is consumed in not so moderate ways,” said Christina Walker, a public health nurse.
Manjit Kerr-Upal, a mother of two, said she would be ringing in the New Year at a block party with both adults and children.
Kerr-Upal said there would be fondue dishes on the menu and drinks made with and without alcohol at the gathering.
“It’s something fun, part of the celebration, part of new year’s but it’s not something that’s a huge deal because we will always make something special for the girls too so they can be part of it as well.
Her 12-year-old daughter, Ila Jordan, said drinking was something she had learned about at school.
“They talk to us about like smoking and alcohol and stuff,” Jordan said. “It’s ok if parents drink it, I’m ok with it, but just not go overboard.”
Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guide recommends women have three drinks and men have four on special occasions.
“Some people say that is too low… There’s several tips that you can do to make that span over the entire evening, so have non-alcoholic drinks between those drinks, having food and also emphasizing have fun with family and friends,” said Walker.
That is the message Kerr-Upal shares in her home.
“It doesn’t matter if you go out to a restraint, it doesn’t matter if it’s Easter, or a night out after a hard day at work, alcohol can be involved and it’s a matter of understand how to use it and consume it responsibly,” said Kerr-Upal.