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Educators/Teachers who Smoke or Drink

Abstract: The behaviour of teachers influences the children.

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Educators/Teachers who Smoke or Drink

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Question(s): 
Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 24 Jul 2008.

Does it matter if you smoke or drink as an educator?

Answer:

Your own behavior certainly influences your children. There is a big chance that your children will take over your drinking habits as being something obvious. So dealing with alcohol in a sensible way can have a positive result. If you give a bad example this can have a negative result. If you drink to get rid of your tensions your child may easily think that it is good to use alcohol for that.

Nevertheless, you don't have to feel guilty immediately.

You should be aware, however, how you deal with alcohol and drugs. You shouldn't avoid a conversation about your own use but use it as an example of how you should or should not handle these things. Show your strong and weak points in relation to alcohol or tobacco. If you are wise with alcohol you can tell how you deal with the risks. You can say that you have made certain deals with yourself, like not drinking when you still have to work, do sports, drive a car or do other important things.

If you are unwise with substances, like tobacco, you are the best person to make clear what an addiction is. You can say that you want to quit, but that you don't manage. That the addiction happened so fast. That it happened before you knew what was going on, etc.

So it is important to be as open as possible when you talk about alcohol and recreational drugs. Your child will see your strong points, but also the traps that you fell for.

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