Answering the Hard Questions
*This is post was created in partnership with Ask, Listen, Learn, All opinion is my own.
Have your kids ever asked you hard questions?
“Where do babies come from?”
Or how about this one from the back of the minivan as we were driving through the Vegas strip…”WHAT’S A PEEP SHOW?!!!”
We drove through the Vegas main strip on a road trip a few years ago. We thought it’d be fun for the kids to see Vegas but not SEE Vegas. As we were making our way through the strip one of the kids from the back seat inquired, “HEY MOOOOOOM??! What’s a PEEP Show?!!!” I was pretty much unprepared for THAT particular question. SO unprepared, in fact… I used the age-old technique called DISTRACTION to avoid the topic altogether.
“Hey look at that big M&M thing over there! How cool is that? Maybe we can get some ice cream later!”
I think it was OK not to have explained a peep show to my kids at the time, however there are serious topics we should be discussing with our kids when the topics arise… like alcohol use.
From asklistenlearn.org, “Survey findings reveal both parents and kids cite parents as the leading influence on kid’s decisions to not drink alcohol. The research further demonstrates the foremost responsibility to address the problems of underage drinking lies with their own family.”
To have a valuable conversation with preteens about alcohol, parents don’t have to arrange a family meeting. Instead, and even preferably… parents can find natural ways to weave the topic into conversation… being sensitive and aware in the moments our kids seem most open to talking.
For my family, those moments often come in the car in the moments to or from activities…
And at bed time (kids are always game to push-off that bedtime, right?)… or at the dinner table, or while lingering in the kitchen before or after a meal while we are prepping or cleaning up.
Or snacking. Oh how food brings people together, eh?
Parents, pay attention to the patterns with your own kids.
Do they tend to open-up most in the car after school… or on the way to practice, lessons, or tutoring? Is it in the morning before school (morning people, represent!)? Or is it over a bag of chips, or a cup of chocolate milk?
Learning about your kids and the times they seem to be most open in conversation help you be more intentional and seizing those ever-growing rare moments of conversation between us and our preteens.
Have you noticed particular times or situations that your tween/preteen gets the most chatty?
Many times, just listening can be enough as kids open up and may even surprise themselves with how much they decide to share. The key is fostering an environment where our kids CAN talk and feel listened to… so we parents have the opportunity to chat about serious issues, such as underage drinking.
Do you need tools to help you know what to talk about once the conversation ball gets rolling? Ask, Listen, Learn, is loaded with resources just for parents. From conversation starters to games to materials to help kids understand the dangers to ideas on how to help our kids say “No”… and even materials to help YOU answer the tough questions (find that resource here).