They’re Watching You.

Is conscious partying…a thing?

Most parents of older children reach a point where they begin reflecting on their own role (performance?) as a parent. Did I nurture enough? Did I use discipline to teach versus punish? Was I present…when it was most important?

One of the conclusions many people (and experts on the subject) come to is that the most potent parenting is likely not what we say, but what we do. Our behaviors often become second nature – or at least standard-setters – for our kids. 

Do we pick up the phone while driving? Do we watch TV during dinner? Do we gossip? Do we disparage public figures? Critical thinking is very different from criticism, after all, just as good habits are very different than good advice.

So. When it comes to “partying,” what are our younger roomies learning… from us?

Their friends have a strong influence, as does the broader culture. But their home setting has proven to be the strongest. So how do we celebrate and let our hair down… at home? Kids learn a lot by watching how we play– whether we’re hosting and socializing, or at home with just each other. Are we thoughtful? Do we set the stage with music, candles, an elevated table setting? Is there a special mixed cocktail for the night? How we receive people into our home and the rituals we create are not only the fabric of our own meaningful relationships, but they’re also a template for our kids.

When it comes to consumption – booze, gummies, pick your party poison (as it were) – how do we show them enough, without endorsing too much? How do we model…with consciousness?

For us, TROVA was a solution to part of this equation– a beautiful, secure vessel (a treasure trove) that would store and protect inappropriate items from this very audience. We made it design-forward because we value beauty in our home. We insisted on a biometric lock because safety (really) matters when it comes to substance. But we did it for us, for our peace of mind about our kids’ safety– not to “show” them how we responsibly store a few gummies.

But guess what?

They watched us create this product for five years and are now teens who see it in use. That sinks in…somewhere. Just as we use TROVA HOME as a tech-time-out for dinner party phone storage (our guests have thanked us) it has also become a quiet pro-tip to the kids, ie, “When you lock your devices away– magic can happen.”

Do we preach it? No.

Do we use it as a lesson? No.

But they see it. They notice. Because kids notice. This doesn’t change the need for real conversations– candid dialogue is a non-negotiable part of parenting in a time of the current fentanyl epidemic. 

But our actions, in the absence of an empirical blueprint, inform their choices. And that is the point of this dialogue. How you do what you do becomes a big part of what they do. 

(Read that again.)

Show them how to party by doing it responsibly and elegantly. Being sloppy isn’t just a bad look – it’s a dangerous one. And like so many choices, this one is in your hands.

In conversation with Craig Kippenberg, we talk parenting, teens and toys.
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