How to Talk to your Tween(s) about Alcohol

My parents brought up the “alcohol” conversation with me and my siblings when we were tweens. It was a subject that my parents dealt with straight on with the 4 of us because they wanted to make sure we all knew the importance of this specific conversation. My parents were both high school teachers, so believe me, they had definitely seen it all and heard it all throughout the years. I always respected and really loved the fact that my parents were so open and honest with us back then, about everything.

Fast forward to present day.

Here I am with 5 kids, 2 of which are in the tween category – William will be 12 on September 25th, Alexander will be 11 on September 28th.

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I’ve already started the conversation about alcohol and underage drinking with them. Just like my parents were open and honest with me, I’m doing the same with the two of them (and will do the same with my 3 other children, too). My philosophy with raising my children (along with my husband) has always been – I want to try and be an open book. I never want to shy away from subjects and I never want my kids to feel they can’t come to me. I need them to know I’m always here – for the good, for the bad and for the ugly. I’ve always been VERY open with them about everything, I started this with them from a very young age. I’ve never wanted them to feel that they couldn’t ask me something or couldn’t turn to me if something was bothering them. So far, we’ve been pretty good.

The subject of alcohol is a big conversation to be had with your children, but it’s SO incredibly important to make sure you have with them.

As you know, I’ve partnered with Responsibility.org and their incredible Ask Listen Learn program this year.

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Their mission is very near and dear to my heart, especially since I have 5 kids under the age of 12. Responsibility.org is an incredible national, not-for-profit organization leading the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking, also promoting responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol. I’m very passionate about being involved because it all begins with educating our youth, in particular, our tweens. Responsibility.org created the Ask, Listen, Learn program for tweens (ages 10-13) as a way to start a conversation about why a healthy lifestyle is important, and why that healthy lifestyle doesn’t include drinking underage.

How do you start this conversation with your tweens?

How do you make sure you’re making an impact?

How do you know your kids are listening?

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These kinds of questions are the kinds of questions that so many of my fellow tween moms are asking right now. The good thing is that we have Responsibility.org’s AskListenLearn program as an invaluable resource to turn to for help, questions, information, advice and tips. Responsibility.org believes the conversation about alcohol can start at any time, but you want to be prepared. With September being a huge time of transition with back to school, it IS an especially important time for parents to be mindful. Tweens are facing peer pressure, confidence issues and becoming young decision makers. Opening up the conversation can be difficult to do, so you really need to make sure you have resources on hand to help inform your kids on the negative impact(s) alcohol can have on a developing brain and body. With my own tweens it’s been important for me to make sure they understood that no true friend would ever pressure you to do something you don’t want to do. I don’t ever want them to feel pressure from other kids to make bad choices/decisions with alcohol. I want to make sure they surround themselves with kids that don’t drink and don’t party, especially at this young age!

I LOVED reading from Responsibility.org’s studies that parents wield the greatest influence on their kid’s decision to drink.

How amazing is this? We have this wonderful influence at this young age, so it’s so important to make sure we’re taking full advantage of this special time. It’s important to talk early and often, and with facts about why to help them understand the consequences. Since 1991, underage drinking has gone down by 59% among 12-13 year olds, while conversations about the dangers of underage drinking between parents and kids have increased 62%. That shows you right there that talking about it underage drinking, well… it helps dramatically.

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Check out AskListenLearn.org for additional information on When & How to Discuss Alcohol with your Tweens. This is an amazing section to really get some wonderful information and advice. Also, check out the “game” section on AskListenLearn.org – it offers games for tweens, giving them a chance to explore the entire theme of the program, which is saying “YES” to a healthy lifestyle.

Also – please know and remember that these conversations may not always be easy to discuss with your tweens, but these conversations are so important and crucial to have. Be proactive and be open and be honest. I’m taking a cue from my parents and following along with the tips from the AskListenLearn Program. My kids are my world and I want to protect them and arm them with the best advice I can possibly give them.

For more information head over to AskListenLearn.org.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with AskListenLearn.org. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

How to Talk to your Tween(s) about Alcohol was last modified: June 5th, 2017 by admin
SHOWHIDE Comments (10)
  1. I am far from this conversation as my oldest is 3, and at this point, it is “mommy” or “daddy” drink and then she has her drink. We don’t let her drink after us with soft drinks either, so at this point, she just realizes she isn’t old enough and is fine with that so far (then again, she’s also fine with not having bubble gum until she is 5…..). ANYWAY, I agree, this conversation is SO important for SO many reasons! Do you know if elementary and middle schools still have DARE? If so, does DARE officers talk to kids about alcohol as well?

  2. open communciation is key. I remember growing up my parents always were pretty frank with me about drinking. They said that if I ever drank to call them. I did it once and my mom goes “OK this was your one!” haha

  3. I have always maintained open communication with my children. I am aware that once peer pressure sets in, they would experiment with drinking alcohol. I believe that the more you say “No, don’t do that.” the more they will be curious to do it. Anything forbidden is always tempting, right? So I tell them that there is a right age for them to be allowed to drink alcohol and that they will be responsible for their actions. Honesty is all I ask from them.

  4. Open communication is the key to any relationship! My parents were very open with me and I could tell them anything. When I was growing up they were very clear that if I was to drink (Mississippi at the time had this law that if the parent purchased it wasn’t illegal to drink) than I would not drive. To always call my parents or stay where I was. I never had an issue. Now that we live in Norway I hope to have the same open communication with my kids when they get older.

  5. I am delighted to have just learned that underage drinking is not quite as prevalent as it once was. Peer pressure can be very hard to counteract! It can also be difficult when those tweens see their parents drinking–even though it is legal for them-they have to be made to understand the differences!