As a #TalkEarly ambassador, I am compensated for my involvement but all opinions are my own.
No one said parenting would be easy but no one quite prepared me for life beyond babyhood and toddlerdom and the lifetime of critical conversations we would have about every topic under the sun. From the start, my husband and I made it clear that our kids can talk to us about anything. But many times it’s not so easy.
From tween friendship issues, feeling academic pressure at school, early conversations about mean kids in preschool (including our son’s bedtime confession to his sister that the four year old boys were calling him names), the dreaded body image question of “Mom, do you think I’m fat?,” and fielding requests to try a beer or for a cup of coffee, no topic has been off limits whether we’ve been ready for these conversations or not.
Earlier this month I participated in a Twitter party hosted by Scholastic Parent & Child that featured The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), Dr. Michele Borba, and my fellow #TalkEarly Parenting Bloggers. Since April is Alcohol Awareness Month, the Twitter party served as a kickoff to help FAAR reach their goal of having 2 million conversations about alcohol responsibility this year.
Conversations about alcohol don’t have to be hard. It’s best to talk early, talk often, and provide consistent messaging that is age appropriate. If you’re wondering how to talk to your kids about alcohol at any age, this helpful infograph provides great starting points for parents of children of various ages.
I’m a big proponent of age appropriate conversations but also on seizing teachable moments. Teachable moments are those tiny moments when addressing a particular topic or idea becomes possible through something your child has said.
Even though I’m a big proponent of seizing on teachable moments to create conversation with our children, it was helpful to hear other perspectives on how to talk to kids about hard topics.
I admit that it’s hard to sit by and passively listen but our willingness to hear our kids is important. They need to know that we will be there to hear them without judgment and without the worry that they’ll be in trouble when they’re honest otherwise the open door of communication tends to close. I loved this helpful advice from fellow #TalkEarly Twitter party participants about keeping doors of communication open!