I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Talking to our kids about alcohol and underage drinking is a MUST for all families. Whether you drink or not, our kids need to know how harmful alcohol is and how dangerous it is to their growing minds. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we do not drink, smoke or use any other harmful substance. It’s been something we talk about with our kids all the time. How to keep our bodies healthy and our minds sharp. I know not everyone has the same beliefs as we do, but I know everyone will agree with me that we want to keep our kids away from alcohol and we want to educate them on the dangers of underage drinking. That’s why I’ve signed up to be an ambassador for the “Family Talk About Drinking” program. Please visit their Facebook page and Website. This program focuses on the importance of having conversations with your children about alcohol and underage drinking prevention. I’ll be posting two more times about this program within the next few months so be sure to check back.
Before talking to our kids about underage drinking, we need to educate ourselves. We need to ask ourselves some questions.
- Are we trying to protect our kids from the world, or are we trying to give them information and skills to make good decisions for themselves?
- What rules are going to be set and how are we going to enforce them?
- What do we really think about alcohol and underage drinking?
There are three stages of parenting. Being a teacher for ages 1-7 where we are the child’s number one source for all information. Being a facilitator for ages 8-13 where parents help the child make sense of the world and incorporate the family values to help the child make decisions about alcohol. And a coach for ages 14-21+.
Prom and graduation season is quickly approaching, so we are going to talk a little bit more about being a coach for the older kids. When you think about a coach, you think of someone who knows more about something than you do. A coach is someone who supports you and steers you in a right direction. Here are some tips on being a good coach to your child in their older years:
- Setting clear boundaries for your child shows them that you trust them to follow the rules.
- Affirmation is a great tool. Be sure to point out and encourage all of the good choices they have made.
- Listen with an open mind.
- Think through and talk about different situations your child might encounter with alcohol.
In the coaching section of the Parent Guide there are some awesome questions to ask your older child so you don’t turn into a “Drive Through Parent” (a parent who wants to get in and out, no deep conversations).
My oldest child is not going to parties and he is not dating yet. But I know that doesn’t mean that he is not exposed to alcohol. I will be using some of these questions for sure when he is old enough. I have had conversations like these with all of my children at all different stages in their childhood. I hope they will hear my voice and make good decisions when they are in a tough situation. I’ve tried to raise smart, independent children. I hope they aren’t swayed by peer pressure. I know that they value my opinion and I know they know they are a child of God. I know they know we always want them to be safe, smart and responsible. I’m excited to share in this journey with you. I hope this program helps you talk to your kids about underage drinking. It’s such an important topic that can NOT be ignored. It MUST be talked about at HOME. Your child needs resources and they need to be armored up with phrases they can use when they are approached by a friend with alcohol.
Be sure to download the Parent Guide for yourself. Read over it BEFORE you start talking to your children. Ask yourselves the questions at the beginning of this post so you know what you are going to talk about and where the conversation will go.
Good luck! Check back for my other two posts soon.