I can’t remember when I had my first beer. I do recall being a teenager and mowing our lawn on a super hot summer day. My dad would be doing yard work and while he wasn’t (and still isn’t) a big drinker at all, he’d enjoy a cold beer every now and then. He always said nothing was as refreshing as an ice cold beer right after you finish some yard work.
He definitely let me have a sip when I was a teenager. And I definitely remember almost gagging and spitting it out before running inside for a Coke.
I really wasn’t the party type in high school (read: nerd), so I didn’t really “drink drink” until I went to college. And then, sure, I was underage and hitting frat parties, doing keg stands, you name it. My parents definitely knew about it and just told me to be careful and “don’t be stupid.” And I wasn’t. So drinking’s never really been a big concern of mine.
But now that I’ve got kids, I wonder what they’ll be like when they’re older. My wife’s not a drinker at all either, and my kids don’t like drinking anything but water really. So at the moment, it’s super tough to picture them as underage drinkers.
I’m going to be part of a focus group next month for The Century Council where parents will be discussing underage drinking, and how to talk to your kids about it, whether they’re already drinking or they’re years off from it. As part of the focus group, I filled out a quick online survey, to help the group get a good reading on what’s going on in the underage drinking neighborhood.
Anyone can take the survey, and in fact, the more people that do, the more helpful it is overall. So whether you have kids who are around the drinking age or it’s just something you started thinking about, it’d be great if you could take the survey to share your thoughts. Apparently the group doesn’t want the survey filled out by everyone until after the focus group, so I’ve removed the link for now.
If you’re just looking for some basic information you can download the How to Talk to Your Adolescent About Alcohol brochure (PDF) or get plenty of facts and conversation starters on the Parent’s Corner section of their website.
I hope to follow up the actual focus group with a more detailed post, sharing the valuable tips and information I’ll be learning.