I’m a teacher so you would think I wouldn’t be so scared to talk about alcohol with kids. That just wasn’t the case. I think as a teacher who has seen kids in all stages of development I understand more than most that they aren’t naïve. Kids know exactly what you mean and how to pay attention. This means they understand more than most adults realize.
But I had gone through hell and back, and I was ready to help share the dangers of alcohol abuse with children.
Like I said in earlier posts, Alcoholics Anonymous changed my life. I had plenty of experience talking about my problems with people. I knew my own story inside and out and all the lessons learned, and it wasn’t hard to apply that to kids.
Treat Kids Like People
You just got to talk to them like you trust them like they have brains of their own. Kids respond best when you treat them like people. What I learned in Alcohol Anonymous was what to skip and not to sound preachy. Stick to facts and people respond more. Kids being people responded the same way.
I started out talking about Kate, my own personal guardian angel. The children responded when I opened with a best friend, grinning at their own. I told them how sometimes it could be your friend that points out once you have a problem.
The dangers of alcohol came next. Kids know about alcohol and what it does. But I explained on a bit more technical level, trusting that they would understand.
Being honest and open really seemed to resonate with them. I was glad to help. They needed to know how alcohol gives people the buzz and intoxication that they enjoy and how that can damage a child’s brain.
If you’re getting sick from alcohol, then you’re probably addicted to it. If you can’t stop drinking, then you’re probably addicted to it. I told them there are a lot of health risks associated with drinking, but the worst can be how it upends your life.
I told them how I had a dog, and I neglected her, how drinking took over everything. The kids really reacted to that, because they’re animal lovers.
I didn’t want to get in too deep with the nitty-gritty of it all, but I wanted to see how drinking could hurt others too.
I think I really made an impact.