When you tackle a subject with your kid that’s one of the more life-lessonie topics, it can be pretty dang interesting. You start to find out what they have -100 clues about, and what they’ve picked up from wherever. But, like a lollipop that rolled under the couch, sometimes some pretty unusual stuff sticks to them, and you may discover they’ve arrived at some pretty weird conclusions. And some pretty serious ones.
As a member of the TalkEarly team for Responsibility.org, I decided to have a sneak-attack “chat” with my kid about alcohol and responsible drinking, and I was kinda surprised by how it went.
Watch and see (there’s a recap below, as well).
Here’s a fast recap of how it went, some of the silliness and some of the seriousness.
Getting a kid in the “zone” for a serious chat can be difficult, and hilarious. I sort of snuck up on him with this one, not telling him what we were going to talk about until we were on camera, to better capture his first and genuine reactions.
Finding out what your kid knows, isn’t just interesting, it’s really vital to being a good parent, raising an able, well-informed kif.
I think it’s important to be real with your kid, especially about the important subjects. Not necessarily stuff that’s way to big for them to process, but honest stuff that they can handle.
He knew some basic things and had a lot of questions that I didn’t want to overload this video with. He asked naively if beer was just “one alcohol” or if there were different kinds, but he more maturely asked if alcohol was against the law and what the legal drinking age was.
Serious topics don’t really have to be super dark and gloomy. What’s important is the listening. Both ways.
Then it got heavy. He started asking the hard-hitting questions. I knew this was great, we were sailing into the deeper waters he’d need to know about in his own life’s journey.
[RECORD SCRATCH] This was the most important part of the conversation for me. As his dad, I could see hints that he had a subtle, unspoken anxiety about his mom and me with regards to alcohol. Even something as simple as sharing a glass of wine at a restaurant.
Obviously, at some point, someone had said to him that alcohol was bad or could hurt or kill you. We adults tend to do that with kids, as an over-achieving preventative measure. “You’ll catch your death in the cold” or “you’ll get run over if you cross the street” or “you’ll shoot your eye out.” Grown-ups turn up the volume on warnings so the little ungrown-ups actually listen. Hopefully.
In this case, though, I was so glad I found an unease in his mind that I could set to rest, that his mom and I weren’t going to die or have to go to the hospital because we enjoy alcohol.
Even if my son decides to never ever try alcohol in his entire life, he’ll still live in this world with other people who have decided to drink. He needs to know about that part of the world, and so many other parts, if I am to ever have even half a hope that he’ll survive and thrive in it.
I knew before going into this conversation that it was important, but after having it, I realize that it’s actually extremely important.
I partnered with Responsibility.org on their #TalkEarly campaign, whose purpose is for parents to do just that: talk early to their kids about alcohol, responsible drinking, and just all around awareness and good common sense about it. My son’s and my thoughts and opinion here are our own, obviously. But the fart noises are all my son’s.
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