Since the Connecticut school shooting last month, I've had several "real" discussions with my kids about safety and making good choices. I've never been one to sugar coat things or mince words, but considering how crazy the world is becoming I certainly can't afford to now.
We've talked about everything from emergency plans to underage drinking and driving. I've reminded them how many bad decisions result from either disobedience, impulse control or drugs. I'm also quick to point out how some of their "minor" bad choices/behavior will look in another ten years. We all make mistakes, but when those indiscretions become habits, those habits can develop a pattern. In many cases, especially these days, there's no chance for a pattern to develop; one poor decision and it's a done deal!
Ultimately, they will make their own decisions, but I will know that I've warned and prepared them. I think it's sad to see them lose their childhood innocence so early, but the world is a much different place from the one in which I grew up.