I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking Program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation
Risks come in many shapes and forms, for some a risk is who can drink more alcohol in front of their friends, for others risks are about who can pedal to the top of a particular hill faster, who can climb a mountain in less time or who has the better downhill skiing average. No matter the challenge, our kids have risks ahead of them, because off of every new challenge set forth is a new challenge as a parent and we must meet these head-on in order to help support and form our children. With everything in life, there are boundaries and as parents we recognize boundaries and we realize that these must be set up ahead of a problem or we will encounter other problems as a result of not instilling boundaries.
Did you know that it is really important to speak with your children about drinking before they engage into the unknown and the challenged? As a parent, you must be a strategist and you must set boundaries and explain the effects of drinking alcohol. Prom and graduation are great opporunities to seize the moment, and get into the window of opportunity to engage your children in conversations about situations in which they might encounter alcohol and the risks of underage drinking. This is your chance to lavishly live out loud with a very candid necessary discussion because your child needs you to guide and teach, this is the time for a Family Talk About Drinking.
My daughter participated in a staged underage drinking accident at school, she was a victim in a staged car accident. The accident was caused by a underage drinker who got behind the wheel and drove! The emotion she felt was real, the jaws of life cutting her out have imprinted the bad results in her forever. The situation taught her a lot and she clearly had her boundaries set in stone after that staged accident. Have we discussed underage drinking in our home? You bet! Will we review it again with her, of course because as a parent my job never stops, nor does the worry and concern.
After her staged accident, we discussed how it felt to be cut out by the fire department? What thoughts were running in her head. I asked her why she had chosen to get in the car with the driver and would she make that decision in real life. We used this as a springboard to follow all details of underage drinking that we could. Some of our questions were like: Do you feel like you could have been that victim? Do you feel that you would ever drink if offered the opportunity. Do you understand that you are not to drink alcohol underage and that it could cost you your life if you do? Do you have respect for what Alcohol does to you as a result of the staged accident? We asked if she had questions for us. We continued on with questions that included: “if there are drinks at a party you are at what will you do?” “if a parent offers you alcohol what do you do?” Now we certainly added our two cents(lol) and explained what to do in our opinion, making very clean boundaries. 1) You do not accept alcohol from anyone. 2) You do not drink alcohol as you are underage. 3) Underage drinking is illegal and you can lose your life 4) If offered to you by a parent you immediately call US and we will get you and handle the situation for you. There was so much more to our conversation, I can not capture it all, but you can see from this snapshot of our conversation we covered a lot of areas and each different area opened up a lengthier discussion which was what we hoped for. Boundaries lead to questions, questions lead to knowledge, and knowledge is power!
No one says that a conversation about alcohol with your child is going to be easy, in fact, Family Talk About Drinking offers great tips and suggestions from a certified educator and parent coach MJ Corcoran who certainly opened my ears as I heard her discuss drinking and drinking discussions on a conference call the other day. MJ Cocorcan suggests that there are Windows of Opportunity that allow us to more easily speak with our children about underage drinking, set clear boundaries. Prom and Graduation are easy ways to start into these conversations so seize the open window opportunity and set clear boundaries by acknowledging all of the great choices they have made in their lives to date, provide specific boundaries to adhere to when presented with drinking situations and then let them talk to you about potential opportunities that alcohol might be introduced. When they offer where they think alcohol might be presented, ask them how they would work though the situation, as this shows them you trust in their ability to judge a situation.
Did you know that for more than 20 years Anheuser-Busch has shared teh Family Talk About Drinking Program with parents which helps us have tips and tricks to use when having an open discussion with alcohol with our kids of ALL ages, not just teens. Family Talk About Drinking offers this information: There are 3 main stages of parenting
1) Being a Teacher (ages 1-7)
2) Being a Facilitator (ages 8-13)
3) Being the Coach (ages 14-21) and this is what we need to focus on right now as graduation and prom are approaching rapidly.
As a parent it is very important you listen and respect your teens opinion, because if you do, they will be so much more likely to talk to you about issues like underage drinking. It is imperative you ask open-ended questions with all the discussions about prom and graduation. Additionally, if you think a text is going to cut it, you are wrong. You need to text encouragement and request a check in call, and be able to hear their voice and gather their emotions, this is so much more tell-tale than an ‘ok mom’ or ‘ok dad’ on the text. Words make noise and that is what you want, noise.
Prom and graduation season are such celebratory times, it is so important that you seize the moment and discuss underage drinking with your children and set the boundaries. The kids have their whole lives ahead of them, so guide, discuss, trust, talk, reinforce, teach, facilitate, and coach, that is your job!
Giveaway begins May 15, 2015 and ends May 24, 2015 at 11:59 P EST. One winner per household and Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central. This is a simple entry and no one under 18 may enter. U.S. Entrants only. Winner will be notified within 24 hours of close of giveaway.. and it make take 4-6 weeks to receive the e-gift Card. My blog is not responsible for fulfillment. I-C will fulfill gift cards to winners. Entrants must enter all requirements below or entry will be voided.
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