April was Alcohol Responsibility Month. Throughout the month of April we learned many useful things about talking to our children about responsible alcohol use.
The timing was right on. As mentioned in my previous post, Talking to Your Kids About Responsible Alcohol Use, I’m currently planning my wedding. Throughout this process my twin daughters, who are 12, have asked many questions about why we need alcohol at the wedding. While driving to school one morning I asked one of them to write down a to do list for me so that I would not forget what to do that day. One of the things that I asked her write down was “check liquor prices”. When I asked her to write that down she said, “No!” I said, “Just write it please.” Now, why would she feel this way? Well, as previously mentioned she has experienced some of the adults in her life get a bit crazy after too much alcohol. So. I’m happy to see that even as a 12 year old she is concerned about the effects of alcohol use. I am going to do everything that I can to make sure that all of my kids hold on to this concern as they grow older.
I explained to her that adults drink alcohol to celebrate. But I also assured her that we will also make sure that everyone practices responsible alcohol use.
Last month all of the Responsibility.org ambassadors shared their stories and thoughts about talking to their children about responsible alcohol use. Here are 2 of them that hit home for me.
How To Talk To Kids About Saying ‘No’ To Alcohol – Kelly Whalen
Kelly talks about how it is important to find the time to talk to your kids about sensitive subjects – “Sometimes your kids will come to you with tough questions or try to start a conversation when you’re otherwise engaged. Whenever possible stop and talk. If you need to circle back be clear about when you can talk-“I’m finishing up some emails, but I’ll come to your room in 15 minutes and we can talk. Sound good?”
I think this is very important. It is so easy to not want to talk to your kids about the tough subjects like sex, money, and alcohol, because it may make you uncomfortable. But, talking to your kids about these subjects is very necessary. It is much better that our kids learn about these things from us rather than their peers, television, or by eavesdropping. Make the time to connect with your children and answer the sensitive questions.
Finding Role Models to Spark a Lifetime of Conversations – Ciaran Blumenfeld.
“We aren’t particularly sporty but we are still inspired by athletes – particularly by athletes like Para-Olympian April Holmes (from my home state of NJ) who is an amputee and a runner and a storyteller with strong convictions. As an athlete, April made a commitment to NOT drink alcohol, and to work towards her dreams and fitness goals. Underage alcohol consumption was not a part of that. April recognized that alcohol often gets in the way of young people reaching their potential.”
In a world where there are so many role models, it is important to find a good role model for your children. And while it may not be as effective for you to just tell your kids “Don’t drink”, they may not see or understand the true benefit of taking a vow such as this. However, having a positive role model who has taking this pledge who clearly shows how far you can go in life if you commit to a huge responsibility such as this can be an amazing influence on your children.
These are just 2 of the stories or advice shared by Responsibility.org ambassadors during Alcohol Awareness month. Each family has their own story. Each family may have a different motivation for encouraging their children to abstain from alcohol use as an adult.
How do you talk to your children about sensitive subjects? Do you use personal stories to get your point across?