Today, we’re mortaring another brick in the foundation of the #TalkEarly to Your Kids About Alcohol Program sponsored by The Century Council.
We have told you why to talk early to your children about alcohol. (Mini-recap: YOU are huge influence for your kids and the younger they are, the more receptive they are to your values and messages).
And we have discussed how to talk to them. (Mini-recap: Small tidbits of information and spiral back to the subject often.)
Now we’re going to kick a stumbling block to the side for your parenting pleasure:
How do you tell your child not to participate in underage drinking if you were guilty of doing it yourself?
Honesty is generally the best policy, but this doesn’t mean your chat with your kids needs to morph into a Dr. Phil worthy confessional. Ain’t nobody got a Hail Mary for that.
What we do have for you is some wonderful information that we learned from Lisa Graham Keegan at the #TalkEarly summit. Lisa is the bestselling author of “Simple Choices: Thoughts on Choosing Environments That Support Who Your Child Is Meant to Be.” Quite frankly, we were smitten with her charisma and no nonsense wisdom.
Here is a little gem from her book:
Guidepost #2: See your children for who they are, and allow them to develop the gifts that are unique to them. They have them for a reason.
See what we mean? She really simplified things when she said, “Be the parent. Even if you drank in high school, you need to tell them not to drink.” Yes, that exactly. BE THE PARENT. Drinking is such a highly charged subject, but just think of it like this: Would you shirk from telling your child not touch a hot stove just because you did it as a kid? No, because it’s your job to tell them right from wrong and to protect them.
And yes we know, this is only simple on paper. We can practically hear you lamenting, “HOW DO YOU PUT THIS INTO PRACTICE!?!”
We know. Ever wish you could just peek behind the curtains and see how other people do it? Well don’t fall off your stepladder because we’re throwing the drapes wide open. We asked our own kids questions like “How do you feel if we tell you not to do something like underage drink and then you find out that we did?” and “Is it better to be honest about it or not tell you at all?” The conversation that unfolded was amazing. Here, see for yourself:
So the bottom line is just ask. And asking is not such a big deal if you have established a routine of having conversations with them when they are young and still think you are the wisest person in the world. See, that is where the whole #TalkEarly thing comes into play. They ARE listening to you, so why not listen to them?
This post is sponsored by The Century Council as part of our partnership with them exploring how to #TalkEarly with our kids.
You can follow #TalkEarly on Twitter and The Century Council Website.
Follow #TalkEarly on Pinterest to find healthy recipes, exercise tips for kids, tips on parenting adolescents, and for homework help.
By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski