This post is sponsored by Responsibility.org as part of their Ask, Listen, Learn program. Now is a good time to start a conversation with your kids about alcohol!
The last few months of the year are both the best and worst.
It’s the best because there are so many celebrations – starting with Halloween, followed quickly by Thanksgiving, and then the rush of Christmas and New Year’s. We love it all – the decorations, the food, the parties, and, of course, the friends and family.
And then, we usually pay for it in January.
These months become a time of indulgence for all of us. We eat too much Halloween candy (this may or may not have started weeks before Halloween in our house). We bake for sharing and consuming. And we both host and attend holiday gatherings.
My son, who’s now 10 years old, actually loves this time of year as well. He’s old enough that he looks forward to hosting friends and family. And he loves to help prep and cook in the kitchen.
With each holiday gathering we’re also buying our fair share of alcohol. Red wine for most of my friends, beer for extended family, white wine for me. And champagne, of course!
As he sees drinks being poured, he never asks for a taste. We’ve talked for years now about the dangers of drinking while his brain is still young. The thought of jeopardizing that in any way has left a strong impression on him. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to talk about it anymore.
The other day, I pulled out a bottle of kombucha (a drink made from fermented tea) and poured it into a wine glass to drink with dinner. He wanted to try some and pulled out a “fancy” glass as well. His was a double shot glass or what’s often known as a “shooter.”
Now, before you think that we sit around doing shooters at my house, we have a very large glass collection for any possible drink or occasion (think brandy snifters, margarita glasses, champagne flutes, etc.). So this was just a fun glass he thought he’d use to sample the kombucha.
This was a time to talk about why glasses are different sizes. We talked about the alcohol content of beer vs wine vs liquor and how the amount you drink of each can affect you greatly.
It may sound like I’m teaching my son how to be a bartender but I’m really educating him on something many parents don’t talk about. My biggest fear right now is not that he’ll drink before he’s 21 but that when he does eventually drink, he won’t have the knowledge to make smart decisions.
At this point in his life, he’s seen so many negatives with alcohol that he tells me he doesn’t think he’ll ever drink. Of course, decisions like these change over time just like our decisions will change once January starts.
Last year, my son joined me in undertaking the Whole 30 plan (which included eliminating alcohol) and we jumpstarted 2017 with healthy habits that have lasted us most of the year. As the holidays are approaching, we’re relaxing that a bit but still focusing on moderation.
We’re both committed to finding ways to stay healthy even when it’s a little harder (like during the holidays). I’ve actually taught him so well that he keeps me in check!
We’d love to hear how you keep the family healthy during the holidays (if you even try) and how you plan to kick off the new year the right way.