Parenting Guide to #FamilyTalk About Teens & Drinking: Part One

If you follow my Instagram you’ll know I enjoy beer. Actually I kind of love it. I’m not embarrassed by it nor do I hide it from the kids. They even remind me when I forget and throw a can in the trash that it needs to go into the recycle bin. However I have always taught our kids that while it’s perfectly okay to enjoy alcoholic beverages as long as you are responsible and use good thinking. That’s why I am incredibly excited to announce that I was asked to join the ranks of other moms to partake in the  Anheuser-Busch “Family Talk About Drinking” Ambassador Program! Over the next couple of months you’ll see posts about taking on this subject and I hope that you or someone you know, can take these as tools to help you with your child.

With prom, graduation parties, and high school parties coming up, we have had the talks of what’s happening in the party world among our teen’s peers. Oh yes, for now I’m on cloud 9 knowing she is the complete opposite of me at this age with zero interest. While she may claim to have no want to partake in drinking at this point, I am far from naïve to think that the urge to cave will never happen.

Questions to Ask Beforehand

If you haven’t had a moment to talk with your child or you are completely unsure of how/when/where; I highly suggest that you start with asking yourself and/or partner these questions to see where your thinking is. Because let’s face it nothing sucks more than being put on the spot and not having a plain of attack.

  • What do we really think about alcohol and underage drinking?
  • What rules do we want to communicate? Are we prepared to back up our advice with
  • our own actions?
  • When it comes to conversations with our kids, what are we really trying to achieve?
  • Are we trying to protect our kids from the world, or are we trying to give them the skills
  • they need to make smart decisions?

They seem like pretty easy questions right? They’re not. The hubs and I have had these talks ourselves many times, whether it was okay for us, to hold fight nights or ‘wetdowns’ at our house with the kids, etc. Do we hire a babysitter for in the house when we go out or take them somewhere for fear of them seeing us if we did drink a tad bit too much.

Stages of Parenting:

The answers aren’t always black and white. But I’m a firm believer that as long as there is open communication with your child, there is always room for learning and growth. Understanding the three stages of parenting makes a world of difference when you’re struggling to find your place in your child’s life. While it may seem so easy when your children are all around the same age, life definitely gets interesting when you’re holding different positions with different ages.

  • Ages 0-7:  Teacher; you’re so focused on becoming your child’s go to source
  • Ages 8-13: Facilitator; helping the kids make sense of the complicated and often unjustly world.
  • Ages 14-21+: Coach; encouraging them to go out in life and but like with us we’re in so many different stages the lines blur.

Coaching Model:

When our Teen asks to go anywhere or heads out with friends, I try to always ask open-ended questions that need her to open up a little more than with a single response. That way when she doesn’t think I’m paying attention I can read her body language, her tone, the speed in which she talks. It also gives me time to let her know I care enough to ask and listen to her with an open ear.

When it’s all said and done, we send our children off into the world hoping that they have picked up on all that we have taught them over the years. That’s why no matter what I always let her know two things…

1. “If you’re ever in a situation where you have to choose between getting in a car with a drunk driver or calling me, I want you to know you can call me and I’ll come get you with no questions asked”

2. “Should you do something stupid, I promise I will only be stark raving mad the next morning. Never when I pick you up!”

Because no matter what happens, no matter the choices, no matter the embarrassment; we will ALWAYS be there.

This isn’t an easy topic by any means, that’s why I urge you to visit Anheuser-Busch“Family Talk About Drinking” website or their Facebook and download their Parent Guide as it is full of wealthy information to give you the encouragement of tackling tough parenting topics.

Have you had to encountered the need for #FamilyTalk about underage drinking yet?

Disclaimer:
*I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.