In my house growing up there was a rule that you don’t talk back to your parents. If you did, you got your butt whipped.

In my son’s class at school there’s some kind of rule about using their white boards for writing words and practicing numbers. Not for drawing pictures.

“Because just drawing pictures doesn’t help our brain grow,” my son told me.

In our home now we have a rule where you don’t ride your bike in the street unless my husband or I is standing in the street with them.

There are rules about speed limits, no running around the pool, and drinking before a certain age. As kids, we may not have understood the why behind so many rules.

Growing up, if I responded to something my parents told me with a “Why?” I’d either get a butt whoopin for breaking rule #1 (don’t talk back) or receive one simple answer: Because I said so.

It’s an answer I swore up and down I’d never give my own children, but I’d be lying if I said those words have never slipped my mouth.

But some questions are too important to ignore.

“Why can’t I have a sip of your drink?”

Did you know by age 8, 37% of kids have had a sip of alcohol? Some parents thinks it’s safe to do at home, or takes away some of the allure. According to SAMHSA, by age 12, 66% of kids have had a sip. Kids ages 9 to 13 start to think underage drinking is ok and even start to experiment.

My kids are still at the age where they see it as something for adults (though they know we don’t drink it). But that could change (their perception, not my lack of drinking, ha!)

Last week at the movie theater Lil’ J asked me what the pretty knobs were near the fountain drinks. They were beer tap handles. And I explained that. She got so embarrassed and a little upset that she had asked about alcohol, but I made a point to tell her that it was a great question and I wanted her to know what that was.

I could have shrugged it off and said “It’s not for you, don’t worry about it,” but where would that have let her? Even more curious? Confused?

How many more firsts will I get with my kids?

Children have a heightened sense of justice. When kids ask us about something, teaching them rules that are based in safety can go a long way.

I’ve noticed a couple of examples with this in our home. One day we were stopped at a red light and I noticed Lil’ J’s seatbelt wasn’t on correctly. I asked her to fix it. When she asked why I explained how she could fly out my front windshield if we were in an accident. She’s stayed buckled correctly since then.

Same type thing with bike helmets.

So next time your kids ask you a serious “Why?” Resist the urge to say because you said so. Give them credit, sit down and have a grownup conversation about safety. Why they should wear a helmet. Why they shouldn’t run around a pool. And why alcohol has a legal age. Think of what a difference it can make in their lives as they grow up with a healthy understanding.

Responsibility.org has a program targeting tweens and parents of tweens called Ask Listen Learn, including resources on the developing brain. If you need help finding the words to explaining the why behind a legal alcohol age, this can help!

letting kids sip alcohol

Reponsibility.org is a Cherish 365 blog sponsor. Big thanks to them for being today’s blog sponsor.


ralph breaks the internet kids review

Ok so I braved a movie screening with three kids solo. Including our three month old baby. Thankfully our screening wasn’t jam packed and we came out unscathed. Also, because of the screening time of the movie my kids were the ONLY kids in the theater. So that made for an interesting experience. Anyway. We… read the rest.


Write lunch notes to your kids

I owe you an entire post on life with three kids. I feel like I’ve jumped on a high speed train and it hasn’t slowed down. But all of it in one word: Humbling. My two older babies have been back in public school for nine weeks. NINE WEEKS? How is this possible? I’ve so… read the rest.


So we’re moving next month. I can say that now. Yes, let’s take a moment to freak out about that. We still don’t have a closing date set in stone. The builder seems to think it’ll be mid-December. Mid to me means December 15th, but I haven’t gotten word that we’re 45 days out just… read the rest.


To this day some people still remember me as that mom who had rollers in her hair when she went to the hospital to give birth eight years ago. My oh my how things have changed. As a first-time mom I was so extra. My daughter always wore boutique clothing and tutus with lots of… read the rest.


Choosing the best camera

One of the most common questions I’m asked is about which camera to buy. Whether you’re just starting out or upgrading, there are so many kinds and it can be really hard to narrow down the best one for your needs. Want a new camera for the holidays but not sure which one will best… read the rest.


There were no groans this year when I proclaimed what our family costume theme would be. I think that was partly because we love this movie so much, and partly because I’ve been planning this since last Halloween. Last year we didn’t do a family costume theme. I was actually out of town for work… read the rest.


Dear Jennifer, It’s me. I mean you. You’re 32 now. I know that seems SO OLD but listen, it’s so much better than you think. You’ve been through a lot. And learned quite a bit. So trust me when I tell you, middle school and high school are just a blip in your life map…. read the rest.


Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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Inspiring Moments Positive Parenting Spreading Joy
How many more firsts will I get with my kids?
Parents: Stop Answering This Question With “Because I Said So”
Write lunch notes to your kids
5 Ways to Surprise Your Big Kids on a School Day
Our Family Halloween Costume: Original? No, Still Awesome? Yes
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An Honest 5 and 7 year olds’ Review of Ralph Breaks the Internet
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A Favorite Throwback is Making a Comeback and My Kids Love it Too