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What do a refrigerator and family dinners have in common?
A good opportunity to discuss over family dinner the purpose of the Health & Human Services Commission, running the underage drinking campaign.
April is Alcohol Awareness month. The refrigerators in town have signs on them that read, “The easiest place to get beer is right next to the milk.” The message is a reminder that one of the easiest places for kids to get alcohol is right in their own kitchens. Many homes have well-stocked refrigerators, liquor cabinets, wine cellars or the basement/garage fridge to boot.
We ask all community members to account for and protect your alcohol to keep it out of the hands of kids. The fridge can lead to a great discussion over dinner about your family’s values and beliefs around alcohol and the dangers associated with underage drinking.
Communication – that’s what’s key about the concept of family dinners. I urge you to talk frankly and openly. No need to preach; rather, discuss the use of alcohol and drugs with your kids and listen to your children’s experience or concerns. As an alcohol and drug counselor, I know that there is never a better time to discuss this important topic than now!
Your children are never too young to bring this subject out into the open; in fact, your children have been observing alcohol’s role in their community, the media and, of course, they’ve been observing you since they were old enough to see. The power of parents is evident at all stages of life, including teaching your children to walk and talk or teaching them your values about alcohol or other drugs.
Let’s get it out in the open. You can’t hide the issue under a rug. So let’s take advantage of this opportunity. You will not regret this important conversation with your loved ones.
Lance Minor Jr. Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor Commissioner, New Canaan Health & Human Services Commission