As much as I love the easy dog days of summer I totally get into the changing seasons, too. When the weather starts to get crisp and the leaves start changing I get so excited for Fall and all the fun activities that come with it…apple picking, pumpkin picking, baking, and of course Halloween.
Halloween is the first fun activity of the holiday season and it really kicks off the festive spirit. It is so fun to see everyone get dressed up in their costumes and there is an electric mischievous energy in the air. We sometimes hit the parades or attend fun costume parties and although candy is great the parents want to enjoy themed cocktails or have a glass of wine. BUT with all our mischievous little kids roaming around we have to consider how we behave.
I know my kids are watching everything around them; they may look distracted but they are definitely taking it all in. When they see all the adults drinking beer and wine, they are curious. I am realistic, parties always have alcohol, it is unavoidable, so rather than pretend nothing is happening, I talk to my kids about it. It is just a matter of time before they are attending costume parties without me or going trick-or-treating with their friends. I need to know that they understand the risks of sneaking and sipping alcohol.
Responsibility.org is an incredible resource for parents to learn how to broach the subject of alcohol and talk to their kids about drinking and the importance of NOT drinking. These are also not just one time conversations, these talks need to open and frequent! I remember sneaking beer on Halloween as a teenager. It was easy because we all got to run around under the cover of night in costumes. My parents were very clear about alcohol and the dangers of drinking so I never took it too far but looking back I realize just how dangerous that was, and so glad no one got hurt. Alcohol can be extremely harmful to growing teenage brains, and I am making it my mission my kids know and understand that long before they’re in a situation where there might be alcohol.
An important piece of advice from Responsibility.org is for parents to model healthy and balanced behavior when it comes to drinking. I make it a point to limit my wine intake when I’m in front of my kids. They are getting older now and need to have a positive and healthy influence, as well as learn to respect their bodies.
The #TalkEarly campaign encourages parents to start the conversation with their kids about alcohol. Making sure they understand that drinking may seem fun because they see adults do it—but it is never something they should do as kids. It also helps parents to understand that even a sip is too much and allowing kids to participate in drinking at a young age can create problems in the future.
Exciting times of year like Halloween when kids are going to parties and role playing are a perfect time to start the conversation with your children about alcohol. When you #TalkEarly with your kids about alcohol you create a safe place for them to connect with you and continue to be open and honest about their lives. Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!