This post is sponsored by Responsibility.org and their Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix Program. All opinions are my own. This group is a not-for-profit organization working to fight underage drinking that I’m proud to work with.
There are few things that I enjoy more than having my friends and family gathered around the table, sharing funny stories while feasting on great food.
I recently hosted a Friendsgiving luncheon at the Studio where I invited some close friends and family. The luncheon menu was complete with all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings and a few friends brought over some wine for our meal.
As the conversations began to roll and the wine glasses began to be filled, it was apparent that all of us were having a great time in each other’s company. Although it was supposed to be an adult’s-only party, my 11-year old daughter came to celebrate with us since she did not have homeschooling lessons that day.
At one point, I got up from the table and headed to the kitchen where my daughter began to assist me with the plating of the food. A good friend came near us and said: “I’m so happy you invited me to Friendsgiving. It’s been a stressful year and I need lots of celebration in my life. I could really use another glass of wine.”
Instantly, my daughter sent me a “what does that mean?” confused look. I instantly gave her a reassuring wink and mouthed a “later” to her, fully understanding that I would have to explain why adults sometimes reference “needing” wine to calm their stress.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts how we’ve always had a very open conversation with our young kids regarding the subject of alcohol. Admittedly, years ago I would have never known how to approach the subject but thanks to my partnership with Responibility.org and now with Ask, Listen, Learn, I feel like I’m better prepared to address my older kids’ questions.
When the kids were little, we always talked about the sipping of alcohol and even with our teenage exchange student about how to be responsible socially. But now, my kids are entering that age where the things they observe, provide perspective in life and I feel strongly that it’s my job, as their parent, to provide additional perspective and information.
After the luncheon, we sat down on the sofas with a cup of coffee and tea and chatted about how adults often drink socially but it’s important to not use alcohol as a remedy for stress. Wine tastes good but it’s also an adult drink that legally can only be consumed after the age of 21.
With a smile and an “oh mom, I know…” and “if you ever needed one, I’d call you an Uber,” we both knew that this is one subject that will probably be revisited sooner rather than later.
Of course, that got me thinking about the things we adults say, often without giving it a second thought, forgetting that our younger ears are forming their thoughts about certain topics.
Now that my oldest two have entered middle-school, I know that I am much better informed and have a foundation of trust and a commitment to having an open conversation with my kids that will be reinforced with more conversations to come.
How do you talk to your kids about alcohol? Do you have any helpful tips?