Independence Day – What you Need to Know

On Independence Day we recognize our country’s freedom by celebrating, often with BBQs and picnics before ending the day with fireworks. There’s nothing better than festivities with food, family, and friends, but while you enjoy the day, take a step back to assess your surroundings and think about what your kids might be seeing and perceiving.

Kids are keen observers about what’s happening around them, so the Fourth of July is an opportunity to model safe and responsible behavior – especially when it comes to alcohol. It’s also the perfect time to have a conversation about why adults, if they choose to drink, should do so responsibly, and why alcohol is dangerous for kids. Spark some meaningful conversations this Independence Day while modeling responsibility.

Before you head to your celebration, have a conversation while they’re around about how you plan to make good decisions. If you’re headed to a party, let them hear you plan ahead by talking about who is driving home. They’ll come to realize that being responsible and making good choices is part of the planning process, especially when it comes to alcohol.

If you are hosting a gathering with alcohol beverages as part of the refreshments, have multiple food and non-alcohol drink options available as well as plenty of water. Clearly identify any beverage containing alcohol and keep them separate and away from areas where kids might have access.

If you’re wondering if your child is old enough to have a conversation about alcohol, the answer is, “YES.” If they are seeing it, it is time to talk about it. Conversations about alcohol should happen early and often.

Kids as young as 9 can understand that alcohol affects their developing brains so it’s not too early to have an honest conversation explaining why adults can drink, and kids can’t. Kids should know it’s illegal to consume alcohol before the age of 21.

This Fourth of July, don’t just spark fireworks, but also spark short and meaningful conversations about celebrating responsibly with your kids.

Wishing you happy Independence Day!

-The Ask, Listen, Learn Team