I’m passionate about building strong relationships with our children and being there for the important conversations. That is why I partnered with #TalkEarly on this post.
“Is it yucky?”
It’s a question my 4-year-old has been asking me for the last 2+ years. He comes up to me, cup in hand with a sincere look in his eye.
It’s never his own sippy cup, but usually my cup or a drink he thinks is mine.
“Is it yucky?” He repeats as I quickly glance at the contents to decide how I should answer him. He wants to know if the drink is carbonated, or non-carbonated. To him, bubbles = yucky. He’s cool with unsparkled water or juice, but not any kind of soda.
“No, it’s not yucky,” I tell him, and he proceeds to take a swig.
Wouldn’t it be nice if they could go through life that way?–Simply ask if the drink they picked up would be good or bad for them, and they actually heed our advice!
Honesty. Trust. Love. These are principles I am trying to build our relationship on while they are young, in hopes that we have a stronger bond as they grow up.
There was never really a conversation about alcohol in my home when I was a kid. My parents didn’t drink, so it’s not like we had it stocked in the fridge. “It’s bad” was the message I got at church, so that somewhat influenced my naive opinions about extended family and friends who drank.
It sounds silly but it wasn’t really until I was entering adulthood that I came into a more non-judgmental view about alcohol.
Being the change
Now I’m trying to do a better job of being open and candid about subjects that were taboo when I was a kid. My daughter still has a slight fear of wine ever since we read about that incident in Anne of Green Gables, but she knows it’s something for adults who choose to drink it.
Though my husband’s conversations about alcohol with the kids so far haven’t gone past the yelping “NO!” When a kid goes for the wrong cup at a work party. I know he’d be open and candid if they came to him. But we could both probably do a better job at discussing the “why nots” better than just “No, cause you’re a kid” or “no, we don’t do that” or “it’s bad!”
Studies show that moms are more likely to have more open and candid conversations surrounding alcohol with their kids than dad. Specifically, mothers are more likely to gravitate to topics around alcohol consumption, the potential dangers, and responsible consumption.
Earlier this year I told you about my partnership with Responsibility.org, advocating for education about safe alcohol consumption. Well, a recent study they did found that Fathers are significantly less likely than moms to have discussed the following:
- how alcohol can interfere with judgment
- how alcohol may be included as part of a special occasion
- that alcohol is illegal if you are under 21
- the dangers of drunk driving
- that alcohol is unhealthy for a developing brain and body
- that alcohol consumption is okay for those over the age of 21 years.
With summer BBQs and pool parties in full swing, this gave me a lot to think about. Especially as I’m really trying to build our relationships on honesty, love and trust. So the next time my son comes to me with a cup that’s not his and asks if it’s safe. Instead of a simple of dismissive answer, I’ll be ready to have a conversation about why.
*I’m passionate about building strong relationships with our children and being there for the important conversations. That is why I partnered with #TalkEarly on this post. Stay tuned in the coming months for more on this important topic.