One of the reasons why I started blogging 10 years ago was to share important information with other moms and dads. I wanted to create a space online that was helpful, insightful and motivating. As my own children have grown, the topics that I blog about have grown, too. Children today are exposed to so much more than we were at their age. One of the most important things is to always make sure that there is open dialogue between you and your kids. The best way to connect with them is to be there, fully present and to talk and listen. The topics to discuss can be very serious and it’s something to be ready for with them.
One topic that is very near and dear to my heart when it comes to my kids is underage drinking. With 5 kids, 4 of them being tweens, it’s a topic that is very much on the forefront right now in our house. I know it’s vital to start the discussions now with them and make sure they know the dangers. My parents were always open with me when I was a tween and I always appreciated that I felt like I could go to them with anything. I want my kids to always feel the same way with me, too.
I’m beyond honored to partner this year again with Responsibility.org and their incredible Ask Listen Learn program. If you’re not familiar with Responsibility.org, it’s an unbelievable organization. As the longest-standing, most wide-spread alcohol education program of its kind, Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix has reached over 62 million parents, kids and teachers since it began in 2004. The program strives to start a conversation about why a healthy lifestyle is important, and why that healthy lifestyle doesn’t include drinking underage. In November 2016, a new set of classroom resources was published for teachers’ use in the school environment to help kids say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking.
Responsibility.org believes that parents need to have ongoing conversations with their kids about being confident decision makers, and keeping good friends that encourage positive decisions and talk to their kids about real ways to say NO to alcohol. This is a GREAT time to open up the conversation with your tweens because April is Alcohol Responsibility Month. It’s the perfect time to use this month as a way to start a conversation. In April many of us are driving our tweens to sports practice or other after school activities… take this moment to talk. In April many of us are on spring break with our kids – traveling and relaxing… take this time to talk. In April many of us working with our kids one-on-one on school projects and studying for exams… take this time to talk. Give yourself the opportunity this month to really sit and talk with your tweens, it’s so crucial for them to know that you’re aware and you’re here.
As it states above, the big things to stress to your tweens
- Be a confident decision maker – let them know that their decisions are important and never to feel pressured to do something they don’t want to do
- Keep good friends – as many of us know, the circle of friends your kids keeps can impact everything, make sure they have a great unit.
- Say NO – share real and honest ways with your child to say NO, this is the most important of all for me.
Remember – conversations about alcohol can happen any time with kids, tweens in particular, and it’s best to be prepared because these types of hard questions don’t often come with a warning or a schedule. We, as parents and caregivers, can rely on the Ask, Listen, Learn site as a resource to help empower us with advice and tips on how to handle hard questions and be prepared for these conversations. Ask, Listen, Learn has the resources for parents to be informed and talk with their kids about why drinking underage can have long-term and short-term consequences on a developing brain and body.
Thank you Responsibility.org for ALL that you do with your Ask, Listen Learn program. Let’s all be inspired by this and start the discussion of underage drinking this month with our tweens.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored partnership. All opinions are 100% my own.