Summer is flying by, and hopefully you have already made memories that your family will remember for years to come. With a few more weeks left before school starts, there is still time to spend more special moments together, make more memories, and have more conversations to last a lifetime.
Since your kids are learning and growing—and curious about how their brains and bodies work, transition your conversations about memories you are making to how memories are made and stored. It’s a great “teachable moment” and can lead to even more discussions about how underage drinking can affect memories. Is it a stretch? Maybe. But it’s an important conversation to have and one that can lead to lots of good decisions in the future.
The hippocampus the part of the brain that helps process and store memories. When something fun or not-so-fun happens, the hippocampus stores it as a new memory. Then, it links the event to your senses like a smell or an emotion. Imagine the funnel cakes at the fair—can you smell them? Or the thrill of catching a wave at the beach—do you remember the sound of the ocean? If so, you can thank your hippocampus for that. In fact, we have a whole video and blog dedicated to our seahorse-shaped friend!
Long-term use of alcohol can damage the hippocampus causing memory loss. Binge drinking or consuming a large amount of alcohol at one time can cause a blackout in addition to short- and long-term memory loss.
Ask your kids to think of how it would feel if they couldn’t remember all the fun times, inside jokes and great food they have shared with family and friends. Start a conversation with them about how drinking alcohol impacts their developing brains and how their decision to choose a healthy lifestyle by saying “NO” to underage drinking will help them succeed in the future.
The great thing about memories is that they are created throughout a lifetime. And even though summer seems like it’s slipping away there is still plenty of sunshine and warm weather to soak up—and you’ll all be able to think back on all these good times when the bell rings and kids go back to school in a few weeks. Make the most of it by inspiring them to say “YES” to creating more memories and “NO to underage drinking!
Check out some of our favorite memories that we’ve made this summer below!