I have partnered with Ask, Listen, Learn for this post. Though it is a sponsored post, my words and thoughts are my own.
Responsibility comes in a number of forms. Of course there is the act of responsibility, but, as parents, sometimes responsibility occurs in the form of a conversation.
My daughter is 9. She has yet to set foot in a middle school or high school, but we have spoken about alcohol.
Recently, because she knows that I write and work with people, I told her about my partnership with Ask, Listen, Learn. It was the perfect segue-way to having a talk about alcohol and responsibility.
She asked questions like “Will it make me sick?” “Why aren’t kids allowed to drink?” “Is it bad for you (adults)?”
We talked about the effects that alcohol has on the brain and why it is so important to avoid underage drinking. We talked about what to do if someone offered her alcohol. And keeping in mind that she is at least 7 years away from driving, we talked about what to do if she was stuck in a situation where there wasn’t a sober driver to bring her home – and why that was important.
We also talked about adults and the necessity of responsible behavior. Members of my family and I like to occasionally go to some craft beerfests around the city. We talked about how we always arrange a ride to and from the fests – and not because we planned on having a crazy time, but because it is the responsible thing to do.
The conversation was not a one-way conversation. It certainly was not a case of me preaching to my daughter. It actually started with a question from her. It involved me responding and then listening to the other questions that she had.
I will admit that I was surprised at how well the conversation went. I did not expect to have this conversation this early, but I am glad that we did. I guess one part of being a responsible parent is making sure that your kids know that they can talk to you about anything. No, you can’t force them to talk, and sometimes despite all the facilitating you try, there may not be an immediate conversation.
But always keep that line of communication open. Sometimes being responsible is simply planting seeds of thought and information. Kids are inquisitive by nature and if you provide the opportunity, often times they will ask the questions.
Now there is a flip side of this conversation. Sometimes parents don’t know what to say or what information to provide. Thankfully, Ask, Listen, Learn is a great resource available to families to help facilitate these conversations early on.
So have you had a conversation with your children yet? If so, what did they ask and how did it go?