Holiday Season Offers Opportunity for Families to Communicate About Drinking

December 14, 2010, Marietta, GA – The holiday season offers an excellent opportunity for parents to communicate with their children about drinking says the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce.”Children who live in homes where alcohol is not the focus of holiday celebrations and get togethers may be less likely to grow up thinking that drinking is the key ingredient to having a good time,” says Cathy Finck, Taskforce Coordinator. “Parents should keep in mind that children are very observant and may be more influenced by adult behavior than what parents actually tell them about drinking.” Recent research even suggests that holidays may be one environmental factor that can increase risk or confer protection from alcoholism within families. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alcoholism may become more harmful to family functioning and more likely to be passed to the next generation if drinking interferes with such activities as dinner times, holidays, vacations and other family rituals. Conversely, researchers believe that maintenance of family rituals, even through years characterized by heavy drinking, may prevent alcoholism from being passed between generations.