If We Don’t Teach Them…Who Will? #ABFamilyTalk (ad)

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“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.”

Today I’d like to discuss something that is very important….underage drinking. To some this might seem like something that doesn’t really need to be talked about a lot. I mean, yeah we all know that our children have heard of alcohol and many have participated in programs in school that teach about why alcohol should not be consumed at a young age and how it is bad for you, but are our children listening and do they really understand? Are parents doing their part to teach their children  about underage drinking and what sort of lifelong effects it can have on your child?

As parents it’s up to us to set the boundaries and expectations for our children. We cannot rely on someone else to do this for us and that is why I felt it was important for us to have this discussion today.

As I’m scrolling down my Facebook wall I see smiling faces of teenagers dressed to a tee ready for their Junior and Senior Prom. It’s a special time in their life and they are usually quite excited. With that being said, this is one of the most important times to sit your child down and discuss the risks of underage drinking. We’ve all seen it in the papers and heard about it on the radio and television…you know, the accident that occurred on Prom night. The one that could have been prevented had the teen not taken that risk. It’s scary and no parent wants to think about it, but we must educate our children.

It is interesting to learn that research from the GfK Roper Youth Report shows that parents have been the greatest influence on teens’ decisions about drinking alcohol ages for 20 years. In this year’s report there was a 24% increase in parents’ influence since 1991.

FTAD

For more than 20 years, Anheuser-Busch has shared the Family Talk About Drinking Program with parents in hopes to help provide them with tips on having an open dialog about alcohol with their children of all ages.

Visit the FamilyTalkAboutDrinking.com website to learn more about the three main stages of parenting including Being a Teacher (for children ages 1-7), being the Facilitator (for children ages 8-13) and the Coach (for ages 14-21 and older). Parenting is a lifelong commitment and we must remember that our children need us to teach them—even when they are adults.

I found these tips on the Family Talk About Drinking (FTAD) site given by certified educator and parent coach MJ Corcoran very helpful.

  1.  Find Windows of Opportunity to Talk— When you have a teenager the windows of opportunity to talk can open and close fast. Prom and graduation are a great time to start a conversation about underage drinking. Be sure to set clear boundaries and encourage good decision making.
  2. Connect with Your Teen— There are two things you can do to connect with your teen: listen and be respectful of their opinion. In turn, they will be much more likely to talk with you about the tough issues, such as underage drinking.
  3.  Ask Open-Ended Questions— During prom and graduation season, be sure to ask your teen open-ended questions to help your teen think through potential scenarios involving alcohol.
  4. Encourage Accountability— In the busy time leading up to prom and graduation, a text is not enough. Encourage your child to be accountable by checking in with an actual phone call. It will put your mind at ease as well.

I have found this advice very helpful with my own teen. You know, I never really thought about that last tip—having them check in with a phone call. I think we all rely on text messages so much these days that it has just become normal and acceptable. I am stepping up and making it a point to have my children check in with a phone call, especially during times like prom and graduation parties. I need to hear my teen’s voice so I can truly know that they have the situation under control, everything is okay and they understand the rules and responsibilities we have set forth for them.

You can get more information and tips for helping your children learn about underage drinking by visiting the FTAD website here: http://www.familytalkaboutdrinking.com

Also, visit the FTAD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ABFamilyTalk

GIVEAWAY

We are giving away a $25 e-gift card for you to spend time with your teen discussing the important topic of underage drinking!

Wait for the form to load below to enter.

Good Luck!

“Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central.”

 

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Comments

  1. I really think it depends on the kid and the kid’s friends but probably around 6th grade.

  2. I feel 12 is an appropriate age to start talking to children about drinking.

  3. My children are little, but we have still talked about drinking. Not them drinking, but just what alcohol is and what it can do. Great tips. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Elle P. says:

    I think the appropriate age is about 12/13.

  5. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I would also say 12 is a good age.

  6. Mami2jcn says:

    I learned from the AF Family Talk web site that children aged 8-13 need their parent to be a facilitator. My sons are ages 10 and 12 and I think that’s a good age to start talking about it.

  7. Natalie says:

    I would say 8th grade is a good time to talk to kids about drinking before they get into high school

  8. kristen shadwell says:

    my son is 10 and i will start talking to him about drinking when he is around 13 unless he starts in with the wrong crowd before then

  9. steve weber says:

    I would say 12-13 years old is a good time to talk about it.

  10. Tracy Robertson says:

    I think it depends on the child and a lot of factors, but probably around 12.

  11. Jessica To says:

    I think middle school age is the right time.

  12. Julie Wood says:

    I started talking to my son and daughter at the age of 12 about the dangers of drinking, and not to do it because a lot of dangerous things can happen, and to never, ever take a drink from someone. You do not know what could be in the glass!

  13. Julie Wood says:

    I commented on this blog post
    Strawberry Shortcake: #12DaysOf BBQ/Picnic Fun!

  14. I think it is best to talk to them around age 11-12, but the earlier the better!

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  15. Thomas Murphy says:

    I think middle school age, so 12-13.

  16. I think 8 and up is about the right age to talk to them.

  17. Kelly D says:

    I think when they become a teenager would be a good time because that is when they might get curious about it.

  18. Janet W. says:

    I think the appropriate age to start talking about underage drinking is the middle school years, around 12 or 13 years old. That is when they start to get influenced by their peers and go down a path you don’t want them to go!

  19. shelly peterson says:

    It really does depend on the child. My son is 12 and will be going into middle school next year. I have already talked with him about alcohol and drinking. Sadly kids seem to start doing things younger and younger and kids are influenced by other kids.

  20. Dawn Monroe says:

    I think pre teen talking is OK. Kids see and hear stuff every where so I like to give them my advice and opinion too.

  21. It really depends on their maturity but at the latest by the time they get to high school.

  22. Jennifer Marie says:

    I would think around 12 or 13 years old is an appropriate age.

  23. Kristen says:

    Kids understand so much even at young ages. I’d start around age 8.

  24. Julie Wood says:

    I commented on this blog post
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  25. Jeni Bryant says:

    Brilliant! I really like that they suggest to ask open-ended questions. That’s definitely something that a lot of parents neglect to do! Thanks for sharing this!

  26. Jessica Beard says:

    I would say 13 is a good age to start talking.

  27. Laura J says:

    I think it really depends on the child, but I would say around 13 when they become a teenager.

  28. Jenna D says:

    12-13 is the perfect age to talk about underage drinking

  29. Julie Wood says:

    I commented on this blog post
    S’mores Cupcakes: #12DaysOf BBQ/Picnic Fun!

  30. Melanie Montgomery says:

    When she enters 7th grade we will talka boutit.

  31. Julie Wood says:

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  32. Stephanie says:

    i would say around 12

  33. I think elementary school age is not too young. You don’t have to get in details, but you can make a general stance on the subject.

  34. 13 years old is a good time to talk about drinking.

  35. Julie Wood says:

    I commented on this blog post
    Summer Spicy Slaw Recipe: #12DaysOf BBQ/Picnic Fun!

  36. James Robert says:

    I don’t think there is any age that would be bad. The sooner they learn and more they hear, the better it is I think

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