Roo and Jasper are still pretty little, thankfully, but every day I fret over how quickly they're growing up. They're both so precocious, they'll be acting like teenagers before too long. I think it's important to start talking to them about serious issues now, before they become problems later on down the road. Bullying, drinking, drugs, eating disorders… we talk about them in abstract terms, hoping that the confidence to ask questions remains as they grow up and try to distance themselves from their dorky parents. I know it's coming sooner than I'd like. I can see twinges of it every time Roo rolls her eyes at me or Jasper squirms away from our hugs. Independence. Yikes!
I was a pretty good kid, in retrospect, never got into much trouble or even acted particularly disobediently. Hard to believe, I know. Still, that doesn't mean I wasn't drinking occasionally as a teenager. I didn't drive until much, much later, so that was never an issue for me but now that I'm the mom, I want to make sure young drivers know just what's at stake when they get behind the wheel after partying.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has programs and activities to help parents broach the delicate subject of underage drinking, including the downloadable Power of Parents handbook sponsored by Nationwide Insurance. They have designated April 21st as PowerTalk 21® day, a time for parents, kids and communities to start an open dialogue about alcohol abuse and underage drinking. I encourage all parents to take the opportunity to learn some new ways to communicate about difficult subjects with your kids, no matter how old or young.
In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and the WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that I will be entered into a prize drawing from MomSelect for posting this public service announcement. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are, as usual, my own.