“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.”
I strive to teach my children to make smart decisions when it comes to alcohol. I talk about how alcohol can effect their ability to think and act and have a negative effect on their overall health. When talking to my older kids who are now teenagers, I try to make the conversation one they can not escape from 🙂 In the car. While I’m driving, they have no escape and they have to listen to me. This has been something we have taught our children since they were very small though, so I just bring it up as refresher courses as I’m dropping them off at a friends house or at a dance.
Here is a Q&A session that she was a part of for this blog series. I learned a lot from her answers and I hope they can help you too!
Do you find that more active teens are less likely to drink than teens that are not involved in extra-curricular activities or the opposite?
Overall, that would be the logical assumption. In my experience being active in a sport or an activity keeps children engaged. Although, parents are the number one influence on their children’s decisions about drinking alcohol, youth engagement plays an important role as well because active teens have to practice responsibility, balance and discipline more than teens not involved.
How should you address questions regarding what you did in your youth?
Being honest and open with your children may enable them to return that transparency and trust. How much to share with your children about your youth is a personal decision that parents should determine with their spouses. The important thing is to begin the dialog, listen to your children’s concerns and coach them in making smart decisions about avoiding alcohol.
How do you get kids to even listen or pay attention to you on these topics?
It starts with listening to them first. Then look for those windows of opportunity to bring up the topic. In between those opportunities build your relationship with your child. Just because you don’t think they are listening, doesn’t mean your kids don’t hear you. Continue reaching out to them, asking open-ended questions and providing guidance on ways they can avoid alcohol. Research shows that parents are the No. 1 influence in their children’s decisions about drinking alcohol. The Family Talk About Drinking Parent Guide provides some questions to help you get the conversation started like “If there is drinking at a party, what will you do?” or “If your friends wanted to drink, how would you handle it?”
Do you think a parent drinking at home has any influence on whether their children will drink?
Alcohol is for adults 21 and older who choose to drink. As a parent, we serve as an example for our children. If you choose to drink, as an adult, do so responsibly. Be sure your actions match what you’re telling them, for instance use a designated driver.
How much should you share about your personal history & experience?
This is a personal decision and the focus is on their decisions and choices. Being honest and open with your children may enable them to return that transparency and trust. How much to share with your children about your youth is a personal decision that parents should determine with their spouses. The important thing is to begin the dialog, listen to your children’s concerns and coach them in making smart decisions about avoiding alcohol.
We’re doing college orientation soon with our daughter, what should we be asking the staff & resident dorm advisors about drinking?
College orientation is a perfect time to become familiar with the University’s policies for underage drinking. Ask the staff and resident advisors what consequences the student will face if they are drinking underage. What process does the university take and who all is involved? (faculty, parents, etc.)
When talking to your child about drinking, the number one thing to remember is to be R-E-A-L
• Realize our children need to have a connection with us.
• Examine our own assumptions and prejudices.
• Always be aware of the other influences in our kids’ lives.
• Listen, because all kids (especially teens!) have a deep need to be heard.
How would you use a $25 gift card to connect with your child? Would you take them to a movie, dinner or mini-golf? Well, you have a chance to win one right now! Enter to win below.
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Please be sure to visit the Anhueser-Busch Family Talk About Drinking Facebook Page and Website for more information.
As my children grow and are exposed to more underage drinking, I will continue to talk to them. Even if I think they are not listening, I’ll never stop talking to them about it. What are some of the things you have done in your home that have worked?
[…] sure to read Part One and Part Two of this series […]