As parents we may wonder when it's the time to talk to our children about things like underage drinking. The answer is, it is never too soon. At only 8 and 11 years old my kids are already aware of the dangers of underage drinking. As parents we may struggle to convey the correct information. We may struggle to teach our kids about balancing life responsibly while still having fun.
Parents must understand that kids are watching. And they hear everything, even when we don't want them too. For this reason, it is best to start the conversation with your kids very early. At 11 my girls like to watch the news with me so that they know what is going on in the world. We discuss the topics. It gives us a chance to talk about right and wrong. They hear about drunk driving on the news. They know what a DUI is. They also know that alcohol is for adults only. It is not for kids. Ironically, at my girl's doctors appointment last week for their 6th grade checkup the doctor asked them if they had smoked or tried alcohol. For just a moment I made a face, but then I realized, “Wow. I guess that is a valid question.” Some kids do try those things at a very early age. Not all kids are taught to avoid these things.
It is very important to start the conversation about underage drinking with your kids early on. Luckily, there are many tools to help us. There are books, websites, and TV shows. And kids love games. Games can be a very valuable learning tool. And they don't only have to teach children things like reading, math, and science. Games can also teach important topics like the dangers of underage drinking.
What is Grab the Goodies?
Grab the Goodies is an educational app developed by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR). It is one component of the Ask Listen Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program. The game is available for iOS and Android devices. It uses a mix of fun gaming with educational questions to teach kids useful information about under age drinking.
The object of the game is to use the tongue of the octopus to grab the goodies including apples, soccer balls, footballs, and trophies.
But be sure to skip the bad stuff such as alcohol and toxic cans!
Between finding goodies the player is asked questions related to alcohol use, physical activity, and living a healthy lifestyle.
Although the game seems to be geared towards younger kids, some of the questions require knowledge that they may not have. However this provides a time for parents to discuss these questions with their children. As the kids play and get to the questions, you can read them together and discuss the answers. However, I would love to see the addition of a button to click for more information on some of the questions which could aid in the discussion.
Also I would love to see some guidance and a more information button to click when you get an answer wrong.
If you would like to get the conversation started with your kids download the free Grab The Goodies app from iTunes or Google Play. You can also visit the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to get more information, plus tips and materials for starting conversations with your kids about alcohol responsibility.
You can also find FAAR on social media at:
- Twitter: @GoFAAR @AskListenLearn Use the hashtag #GrabTheGoodies
- Facebook: GoFAAR & Ask Listen Learn
- YouTube: GoFAAR
- Instagram: Ask Listen Learn
- Pinterest: Ask Listen Learn board on GoFAAR
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by FAAR. All opinions are my own.