Talking to Kids About Holiday Drinking

*This is post was created in partnership with Ask, Listen, Learn, all opinion is my own.

The holiday season is upon us! There is so much for us to look forward to – more time with family and friends, holiday excursions, holiday treats, holiday parties and events…

Talking to Kids About Holiday Drinking

Talking to Kids About Holiday Drinking | jennyonthespot.comWhen our kids are present at parties where there is drinking with our friends and/or our families… they form opinions about adults and drinking. Alcohol is often present in holiday festivities, and many times kids attend those social events. Whether or not we realize it, we are influencing our kids’ opinions on drinking alcohol.

According to Ask, Listen, Learn, “Sixty-four percent of 10-18 year olds report their parents as the leading influence in their decision about drinking or not drinking alcohol.”

But HOW are we influencing them?

This time of year is a great time for parents to take the reigns and open up the conversation about drinking. What DO our kids think of it? What is their perception of adults drinking? What questions do they have? What do THEY see when they see adults consume alcohol? What opinions are they forming?

Growing up, I had a couple family members who would drink too much at holiday gatherings and the result was…. um… unpleasant, shall we say.

After Thanksgiving this year, I talked with my kids about our own holiday. While we do practice responsible drinking, I pointed out how alcohol can influence behavior and how it can affect the holidays for some. And more importantly, how drinking underage can affect their actions, relationships, and even their brain development! Some of my childhood holiday experiences with extended family were negative because of drinking. I’m grateful my mom took the time to talk to me about what had happened. The experience of those times affect my relationship with alcohol to this day. 

When we drink in the presence of minors, it is an important opportunity to model responsible drinking, and to show what responsible drinking looks like – whether at someone’s home, at a restaurant, or in our own home. But take it just a pinch further –  be sure to TALK to your kids about it. Believe it or not, they are listening.

Ask them what they think. Ask them what they see. Talk to them about the importance of drinking and how responsibility doesn’t only apply to one person.

Do you need help figuring out where to start with your kids? Ask, Listen, Learn is a great resource, and this is a great place to start.

As a child, I experienced consequences of adults drinking too much over a handful of holidays. It wasn’t terrrrrrible, but a couple holidays were definitely impacted negatively. They were made memorable in ways I don’t want my kids to experience the holidays.

So. The holidays. 2 things… 

  1. Model responsible drinking.
  2. Talk about it. Find out what your kids see vs. what you think they see.

Talk. Talk. Talk. Ask, Listen, Learn is loaded with great information and resources for parents and educators. It’s a great resource to help get the conversation going, and support as you keep the conversation going.

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