Easy Conversations about Tough Topics like Alcohol are Possible! Read on for some tips and how I handle these tough topics!
As my kids get older I realize that even though it can be uncomfortable, it is my job as their parent to have sometimes hard conversations with them. It is only natural that they branch out and spend time with friends outside of your home so that is why having the “mom talk” is so important. Having five kids and being the parent of two teenagers, I am right in the thick of middle school years and heading into the high school years. Trust me, that is pretty scary so I find myself having the “mom talk” more and more.
Related Posts: Tips for Having A Healthy Talk with your Kids About Alcohol
These “mom talks” in our home range in topics such as positive peer influences, the importance of getting good grades, eating healthy foods, the effect of bullying, self esteem, body changes and alcohol and drug use.
These discussions are not always easy, but they are so very important, and I take every opportunity I can to casually weave these important topics into everyday life. By having discussions with my kids as situations arise, such as when we see alcohol use on TV or hear about stories in the neighborhood, I can talk about our family’s beliefs and values in a non-threatening way and make them aware of our zero-tolerance policy toward alcohol use.
We have talked about what to do when faced with situations like alcohol in other people’s homes. Having these talks while snuggled up on the couch has led to some really great discussions that I hope will impact them in a powerful way and encourage them to not give in to peer pressure.
How do I know it is working? Well despite the big sighs and the eye rolls from the preteens, I know that my talks with them are working because I hear them discussing it between themselves, with their siblings and with their friends, and I hear about how they made good choices when out of our home.
Need some tips on how to broach the topic of alcohol use with your children?
Check out the Know When. Know How. campaign, a statewide, research-based education and prevention effort targeted to Pennsylvania parents of children ages 8 through 12.
Kids age 8 to 11 are most receptive to parents’ input, and most PA parents believe it’s their job to educate kids about alcohol. Therefore, conversations about alcohol should start early and often, and don’t have to be one big intimidating “talk.”
The objective of the campaign is to prevent underage drinking by providing information and tools for parents so they can engage their children in discussion before trial or use of alcohol even begins.
Underage drinking is a serious problem across the U.S. and carries serious risks that can negatively impact a child’s development, cause nerve cell and brain damage, preclude participation in sports and activities, and significantly increase risks for alcoholism and other abuse disorders later in life so it is important to have these conversations with your kids early in life and often.
The moral of the story? Start these conversations early, have them often, know your kids’ friends,surround them with good role models and hope for the best!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.