REAL Conversations and Advice From MJ Corcoran, Parenting Coach & Giveaway #MC

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
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We’re in the home stretch around here in regards to high school.  In just 10 days my baby will be walking across a stage and receiving her high school diploma.  We’ve been doing a lot of talking the last few weeks because I know the days of me being the person she spends the most time with are soon to be gone. 

Within those conversations I want to be “real.” 

Realize our child has a connection with us.
Examine our own assumptions and prejudices.
Always be aware of the other influences in our kid’s lives.
Listen, because all kids (especially teens!) have a deep need to be heard.

I don’t want to be the parent who says “don’t drink until your 21” and leave it at that, I want to have deeper discussions about alcohol usage and the decisions to make when confronted with it.

Unfortunately we’ve been able to use real life examples on making smart decisions when it comes to alcohol.  We have a family member who at a young age didn’t make great decisions regarding its use and years of consequences followed those choices.  It’s striving to teach our daughter that the choices one makes when presented with underage drinking or even responsible drinking when of legal age happens each and every time alcohol is part of the equation.  “Just this one time,” isn’t justification for underage drinking, driving under the influence or using alcohol irresponsibly over the age of 21.

We tend to have these conversations around the dinner table.  We put away the tech gadgets, and converse about our day.  What was good, what was bad, and how we reacted to those situations.  Could we have done things differently, and if so how?  Having meaningful conversations around the dinner table is a great way to find out what your kids think about different topics – for some reason when we talk over food we tend to lower our guard a little bit.

I had the opportunity to be on a phone interview with Parenting Coach MJ Corcoran as part of the FTAD Ambassador Program.

MJ Corcoran has worked with parents for the past 20 years and has created a powerful parenting program that will help parents make the changes to create more cooperation, connection, mutual respect and fun in families.  In 2011, MJ collaborated with Anheuser-Busch to refresh and expand the Family Talk About Drinking guide to become a program that parents can turn to throughout the parenting process, no matter how old their kids may be.

There were five bloggers on the call and we all had some great questions, and MJ gave some insightful answers. 

She encouraged us moms that WE AS PARENTS, are our children’s biggest influence no matter how much they roll their eyes when we speak to them.  Be supportive.  Rather than just telling our teens not to drink, ask them open ended questions and have them to draw up a plan of action when they are placed in situations where they are offered alcohol.

One of the blogger’s asked MJ how to share the scary facts of underage drinking with out terrifying your child?  This question resonated with me because I’m the kind of mom that has always tried to ‘fear’ my child into not doing things.  MJ shared with us that a good way of doing this is sharing facts but doing so in a direct way not in a scary way.  So say “I was reading this….” and then ask an open ended question in regards to the fact like “What do you think about that?”  Don’t bombard them with tons of facts, pick out one and make it important.  We need to build our kids’ confidence and have them know we support them.  Our role is to give them words to help them get through situations.

I had asked MJ about exception laws.  Some states have them, and if kids are aware of them they may become confused.  MJ reinforced that we as parents get to decide what’s appropriate and important for our own children.  We need to clearly set the expectations we have of them.  Kids like to have safety and they don’t want you to be ambiguous of what you want from them.  Be consistent, clear and confident on what your rules are.  When you stick to your guns, your children will know you mean what you say.

If you haven’t downloaded the Family Talk About Drinking Parent Guide for use in your family yet, I encourage you to do that.  Even if you have young children, you can discuss the topic as you look for windows of opportunities to reinforce your family values in regards to underage drinking.

Anheuser-Busch is hosting a $25 Visa e-gift card giveaway here on our blog.  This will be a great opportunity for the winner to put the gift card towards quality time with their teenager to jumpstart their own conversations prior to prom, graduation or high school parties.

This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents ages 18 and older. No PO Boxes. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, and will be randomly chosen. By entering this giveaway you are stating that you have read and agree to the Privacy Statement and Giveaway Rules posted on our site. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  Giveaway ends 5/21/14 at 6:00 PM CST.

144 thoughts on “REAL Conversations and Advice From MJ Corcoran, Parenting Coach & Giveaway #MC

  1. I would take my oldest grandson who will be turning 16 in July. I wouldn't have a problem approaching this subject with him, as we have always talked about it.

  2. I would take my niece out. She's not old enough to worry about that yet but I would tell her not to drink and drive and not to let others influence her decisions.

  3. My friend's granddaughter and I have a good relationship so I'd take her out.
    Thanks for the contest.

  4. I have two teen sons that I would like to take out. Especially since our oldest is just started with driving lessons.

  5. I would take my 15 year old nephew, Timothy. He's at the age where his friends are a big influence on him. I would try to let him know that it's okay to not follow the pack. What he does today could have a big impact on his future.

  6. I'd invite my grand daughter out.
    I'd talk briefly with her about underage drinking.
    thank you

  7. I would take my daughter out with this GC and we would discuss the dangers of underage drinking

  8. I would take out my 14 year old daughter. I would talk about different situations she could be in where underage drinking is happening. What she could do to get out of the situation or the consequences that could happen if she were to drink.

  9. I'd take my daughter out and discuss some of the teens we know that have gotten into trouble with drinking and the long term impact on their lives and ask her to stop and think before she drinks so she won't end up in a similar situation

  10. I would take my young cousin out, share and talk with her should not be a problem since we are close.

  11. My family has been really open when discussing underage drinking because alcoholism has impacted us all. I would take my youngest nephew out and begin a dialogue with him about what pressures he may be facing at this time.

  12. Even though we have already discussed the alcohol and you THING, I would still take my 18year old daughter out.

  13. I would take my little sister and would bring up a few teenagers that saw in the new, that have ruined lives because of drunk driving.

  14. I would take my daughter and explain how you can ruin your life if you drink and drive…and others lives too.

  15. I'd take out my niece. I'd talk about how dangerous it is and how she needs to be careful.

  16. I would take my niece and help her understand by giving her examples from my early years and from people I have known.

  17. I would take my 16 yr son. I would encourage him to remind his friends not to drink and drive

  18. I would take out my neice or nephew, and let them know some stories of tragedy that I am familiar with regarding drinking and driving.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  19. i would take my nephew out, he is getting his permit now and it couldn't hurt to reinforce the pitfalls of underage drinking; i love him and want him safe and careful.

  20. I would take my kids! 🙂 I would just be direct with them and let them know what my personal experiences with underage drinking and drinking in general 🙂

  21. I would spend it on my daughter Libby. She's only 4, so I'm not in danger of her going out drinking anytime soon, but when ever alcohol is brought up in conversation (like someone drinking on a TV show or in a movie), she usually asks about it and I always give her my opinion of it—-ain't much point in it. Most people tend to start drinking to fit in and feel like part of the crowd. I want my daughter to always have the self confidence to not need other people's opinions for her self worth.

  22. I would take my grandson and I wouldn't have a problem discussing this with him because we have talked about it before.

  23. I would take my cousins, I am sure they have been taught many times that underage drinking is very bad so talking about that with them probably isn't necessary.

  24. my preteen! and just approach him and talk to him honestly about drinking and bad associations and what it will do to you!

  25. I would take my sons out. Me and my husband do not drink and although they are too young to talk about this with, it is never to early to cultivate a strong relationship with your children to have open and honest discussions.

  26. I would take my nephew Adam out to lunch and discuss underage drinking with him. At age 19, he has complained that he can join the military, yet he can't enjoy a beer in a restaurant.

  27. I'd take my daughter out with the gift card. I might start the conversation with a prompt about the local school's no-alcohol after prom party and go from there.

  28. I would take my daughter out to eat and just reiterate this conversation, since we have had it in the past.

  29. I would take out my best friend, and order dinner (and beverage) for him. My selections would sufficiently imply my message!

  30. I would take my nephew and tell him I'm always there, no questions asked and available for a ride day or night.

  31. I would take my eldest daughter out to eat and since we have had this conversation in the past…I would just renew my thoughts with her.

  32. I'd take out my 15 year old step son and explain to him the dangers of it, and will have examples/statistics to present to him.

  33. I would take me nephew and I would explain to him the dangers that might come about while engaging in reckless behaviors.

  34. I would take out my oldest son and talk to him about the dangers of drinking. He knows that already since we are a completely dry household but it never hurts to reiterate it.

  35. I would take my 13yo sister in law. Overnight, she has become a teenager looking to prove she is grown and I am afraid her parents haven't noticed.

  36. my son and i would tell him the dangers of overdosing on alcohol could kill you

  37. I would use it for my 17 yr. old daughter. She will be going away to college so we will definitely be having these types of conversations. I have three teens and one young adult child, so we have been discussing underage drinking for a long time now.

  38. I would take my young niece for a evening dinner and talk to her heart to heart about the dangers of drinking.

  39. My daughter would benefit from this. We always emphasize how dangerous alcohol can be for underage "adults."

  40. I started the conversation after we had seen some neighbors imbibing at a block party.

  41. I would take my nephew. He is 14 and getting old enough where other kids would want to drink.

  42. My kids are a little too young for that talk, so I'd take my 13 year old nephew out. He's a good kid, but not a lot of guidance in his life.

  43. I would take my oldest daughter who is 18 out with this GC. I would talk to her about underage drinking since she is now going out more and more with her friends.

  44. I would take out my daughter, and when she is older I will be forward about underage drinking and the bad consequences of doing it.

  45. I would take my best friends daughter. We are super close, and I feel that she would be more honest with me than with her mom.

  46. I would take my granddaughter out to discuss underage drinking as well as drinking in general with her and explain how I lost one of my daughter's due to drinking.

  47. I would take my son Mike out to dinner and talk to him about not giving in to peer pressure when out with his friends

  48. I would take my son and explain how you can ruin your life and other peoples lives if you drink and drive

  49. I would take out my younger sister to talk about underage drinking. I would be direct yet kind about the issue.

  50. a friends of mine and tell them to be careful when driving no matter what the situation. hopefully they aren't, but if they are drinking for some reason, never drive.

  51. I'd take my teen cousin… and explain past experience from myself and other people that I have witnessed first hand

  52. My nephew. I'm not worried about approaching him about it because he's always been a smart kid and easy to talk to. Explaining it to him would be a good reason to go over the facts he knows versus what media tells him.

  53. I would take out my 17 year old daughter and tell her to NEVER get in the car with someone who has been drinking. I would let her know that she can always call me for a ride home no matter the time or the circumstances.

  54. I would take out my 17 year old daughter and tell her to NEVER get in the car with someone who has been drinking. Also, I would remind her she can always call me for a ride home no matter the time or the circumstances.

  55. I would take my daughter out and would talk to her about how dangerous it is to drink & drive & that you could kill another person or family if you drink & drive. I would also explain to them that if they need a ride but were drinking to make sure to call someone who is sober or they can call me and I will always come!

  56. I would take my teenage grandson out, I would discuss with him the downfalls of drinking and the risks involved.

  57. I would take my son, Jon and I would explain that underage drinking is dangerous and not good for you.

  58. I would take my 12 year old daughter. Unfortunately, we have already had a life lesson in under age drinking . We lost my nephew to an under age drunk driver.

  59. I would use on my kids, this summer break, to keep up with all the activities we are going to do!

  60. I would take out my 17 yo son with this and I approach underage drinking by talking to him and he knows I am very against it and he would be grounded for a long time with many gadgets taken away for a long time..Thankfully he is involved in sports and I have not had a problem yet knock on wood.

  61. My son. I have talked to him all about drinking and teaching him the right path to take. to not give in to temptation and peer pressure

  62. My daughter and I would discuss some things that happened to some of my friends from drinking and driving
    annabella @ centurytel dot net

  63. I would take my cousin. they area getting to that age, I was raised around drugs and alcohol, but I do not drink, smoke, nadda! So I hope my cousins will learn as well as my kids when they're older!

  64. I would take my son out who is 16 and we have talked many times about underage drinking and consequences to doing that. I'm pretty sure he gets it but it's always a good thing to keep reminding and discussing it.

  65. I would take my son out to dinner to let him know that underage drinking is illegal. I would remind him that even when he is of age that he needs to be responsible. My father was killed by a drunk driver when I was 10 and my son never got to meet him. That has always bothered him that he never got to meet his grandfather. Thank you!

  66. My grandson. even though he is only 7 I believe you are never to young to talk about these things,

  67. I would take out my niece. I do think it's important being frank without the use of scare tactics.

  68. i would take my daughter out and explain the dangers of daughter learned alot in school and is very against it and i am very happy that she learned about it

  69. I would take my son and explain the dangers of drinking and how deadly it can be to himself or others.

  70. I would take my two preteen sons out to talk to them about underage drinking with this prize.

  71. I would take my younger cousin out and talk to her about personal responsibility and how to deal with alcohol.

  72. My daughter already knows about the dangers of drinking because we've had those conversations in the past. I think I'd take two of my nephews because I'm not sure anyone is bothering to talk to them about this very important issue.
    Katharina angelsandmusic[at]gmail[dot]com

  73. My son is graduating & he is just starting to go out in cars with his friends plus he is getting his license so I would take him out.

  74. I'd take my 15 year old granddaughter to a concert and point out all the foolish looking drunks.

  75. I'd take out my niece and explain the dangers of underage drinking and cite examples from personal experience.

  76. I would take my 17 yo nephew and we would have a discussion about drinking and driving. We also talk about texting and driving.

  77. I have 3 kids so I would talk to all of them and we are always talking to them about drinking and drugs. I hope we have started conversations early enough that it will sink in that they will make good choices when they get older

  78. we have talked with our kids for long time about drinking and drugs.we be honest with them and show them what has happen to kids.

  79. I would bring out my cousin. I graduated college recently so I would bring up my experiences with drinking, since I was a never a big drinker.

  80. I would take my niece out. She has a good head onher shoulders but she's also over confident. I would tell her about the kids I went to school with as a teen who also felt confident in themselves and how they ended up thanks to drinking & driving.

  81. i would take my sister. she is being irresponsible right now and my parents haven't tried talking to her.

  82. Are you kidding me? I would take my nephew but his family has already introduced him to alcohol and its consequences.

  83. I would take my son out with this gift card and I would approach the subject by asking him what he thinks about the topic.

  84. My children are still to young but I would take my nephew and three cousins who are at that age

  85. i would take our son out and i would talk to him about underage drinking, i have a few life experiences to share with him.

  86. I would take a 17yr old niece out who I heard was drinking after prom. There's been so much tragedy in my family from alcohol abuse.

  87. I would take out my 14 and 16 year old daughters.We would have an honest discussion about alcohol and the repercussions of being irresponsible at any age.

  88. I would take my daughter out, who is graduating and have a nice mother, daughter talk about graduation night.

  89. I would take my stepson out to talk to him about the dangers of underage drinking.

  90. I would take my son, but he and I had this talk about 3 years ago. He is 18 yrs old now and he is always honest with me about everything. We have a great relationship. I just came right out with it, you can not beat around the bush with teenagers.

  91. I would take out my nephews and talk to them about drinking!!! They know that just because someone else is doing doesn't mean you do it!!

  92. I would take my granddaughter and would speak with her about and explain the dangers and the problems it can cause.

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