Statewide Initiative Offers Suggestions for Families to Have Fun and Discuss Underage Drinking Prevention while Stuck at Home
RALEIGH, N.C. – (April 1, 2020) – Parents everywhere are asking the same question right now: “What should I do with my children while they’re stuck at home all day?”
Playing board games, making crafts, creating snacks, and having conversations are just some of the ways families can fill the time at home and avoid cabin fever. Talk It Out NC, a state-sponsored initiative to reduce underage drinking, created helpful tips during this extended period out of school for parents who want to help their children stay busy, have fun, and learn why it’s important to avoid alcohol.
“Talk It Out created the Hunker-Down Game Plan to help families have fun and stay occupied while everybody is at home,” says Deputy Director of Education and Outreach for the ABC Commission Jim Van Hecke. “Keeping busy and managing a schedule helps children and teenagers maintain a sense of normalcy and encourages them to avoid dangerous activities. The Hunker-Down Game Plan also provides families the opportunity to spend more time together and have quality conversations.”
Talk It Out NC’s Hunker-Down Game Plan: Ten Tips for Families at Home
1. Get out the games
Now is a great time to crack open those board games. Puzzles are also great for building teamwork and mental stimulation. And, let’s face it… you know you’ve been waiting for an excuse to play video games with your kids.
2. Craft and create
Crafting is a great way to keep everyone in the family occupied while having fun. What kid wouldn’t want to make a monster out of tissue boxes or sparkly space crayons? Check out this list of 50 fun activities for kids from Good Housekeeping.
3. Make snacks together
Combine fun and food while you’re at home together! Get your kids to help you make some unique snacks everyone can enjoy. Here’s a list of creative cuisine perfect for everyone from Delish. Mickey pizzas and banana sushi anyone?
4. Make a time capsule
One craft you can work on together and keep forever is a family time capsule. Ask your kids to decorate the capsule and then let them collect items that they feel represent this time at home.
5. Take a hike
Kids need to play and be outside, although it’s important to avoid crowded areas and play dates right now. Find a local park with trails so you can take the family on a hike rather than go to a playground.
6. Keep a family journal
This is a fun way to keep the family entertained, encourage creativity, and build togetherness. Label the date on each page of a journal and ask each family member to write down what they did or any thoughts they’d like to share. This can go in the time capsule! For the families who love social media, make a daily vlog. Your kids can interview each other, or they can perform a skit for the camera.
7. Set and maintain a schedule
Keep the same sleep and mealtimes you would have under normal circumstances, so your family’s typical routine isn’t disrupted. Ask your kids to help you create the schedule, which will encourage them to be invested in it. Include educational activities, an hour for free time, outside time, and chores. Click here for a daily schedule you can download and print.
8. Create a learning space
Designate a spot in your home for schoolwork and learning to help students keep up with their assignments remotely. Make sure this area has all the tools they need to do their work without distractions.
9. Stay social
Include a social hour in your schedule where your kids can connect with their friends online or chat on the phone. Help them figure out how to maintain their friendships while practicing social distancing.
10. Take the Pledge
Now is a perfect time to start the conversation about underage drinking at home. You can do this while spending time together, or this can be a way of building trust while you’re not at home with them. Parents and children can Take the Pledge to prevent and avoid underage drinking together!
Talk It Out encourages families to keep the lines of communication about underage drinking open with helpful tips.
Starting the Conversation:
- Ask open-ended questions and really listen to their answers without interrupting or jumping to conclusions.
- Take advantage of all kinds of situations, like a celebrity appearing in the news for drunk driving or a plotline in a TV show that involves alcohol.
- Start a conversation in the car. Some teens feel more comfortable when they don’t have to make eye contact.
- Make kids part of the conversation. Don’t make it a lecture.