Some adults drink alcohol, and of those adults, they may drink in front of their kids. What if the child asks for a sip? Does this sound familiar? We tell them no because it’s just for “big people.” What do you say when they ask you why? Thank them for asking, and take the opportunity to talk about it with your kids.
Of the many reasons why you mention drinking is not allowed, they might relate to this when you reply, “It’s a no-brainer!” Explain that alcohol consumption can affect their brain. And, when they receive pressure for peers, they can always respond with, “Dude, it’s a no-brainer. I’m a thinker, not a drinker.”
Let them know you can talk to them about anything, including alcohol:
1. Take every opportunity to talk.
2. Utilize a recent news event or article as a way of raising the issue.
3. Give your reaction to it.
1. Ask them for their thoughts.
2. Listen to what they have to say and avoid criticism.
3. Learn from each other.
Short of delivering a science report, give them plenty of information on how alcohol can affect them and offer ways to say “NO!”:
1. A young brain exposed to alcohol may have long-lasting intellectual handicaps. “I’m smarter than I look.”
2. Alcohol can slow your reflexes, causing you to lose balance. “I’m in control.”
4. Large amounts of alcohol can shut down your system, sending you into a coma. “I’m going to enjoy the rest of my 90 years, thanks!”
5. Drinking alcohol can become a negative distraction, not only from study, but sport, creative pursuits, family life and socializing with friends. “You may be a follower, but I’m a leader, so follow me.”
They’re still looking to you for guidance, so talk often and encourage them to speak openly. Find more great tips and tools for kids, parents and teachers at Ask, Listen, Learn.