Talking to your children about drugs and alcohol is never easy, but it’s so important to make sure you do it before their peers have a chance to influence them. Here are five tips to help get the conversation started and keep it going until you’re sure they understand.
Start the Conversation
The first thing you can do is simply talk to your child. Ask your child to write down some things that they already know about drugs. Also, have your child write down some questions they may have about these chemicals. Once your child has this done, sit down and discuss the information with your child. Also look for spontaneous opportunities to discuss drugs or alcohol. If someone in a movie or TV show is using drugs or alcohol, ask your child questions or share with them the harmful side effects of using these substances.
The next thing you can do is get online and find some great websites or television programs that deal with these topics. There are a variety of detailed websites that can help you to better make the connection to your child about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Be certain to preview the material first and make sure it is suitable for your child to view.
Real World Experience
You may also want to consider taking your child to a local center that deals with substance abuse on a daily basis. The leaders of the center will likely talk to your child as well, and they will be able to share a plethora of different stories about people have abused drugs and alcohol. You may even be able to meet some of the people that they work with. Few things are more concrete to kids than an actual real living person who has dealt with the addiction.
Just Say No
Talk to your kids about saying no to drugs. Tell them it’s ok to say no even when their peers are giving in and trying drugs or alcohol at an early age. Be their friend, and encourage them to come to you if their friends are doing drugs or drinking alcohol. Have conversations with your children about how you can help them say no when offered drugs, prevent binge drinking, and leave when drugs or alcohol are present. Tell your child that they can always call you if they get in a bad situation where their friends are using drugs or drinking alcohol.
Many parents believe that it is important to show your child what he or she will give up if they choose to use drugs and alcohol. Demonstrate to your child how much money it costs to use drugs, the dangers that can happen from them and then give your child better alternatives to using drugs.
Simply communicate with your kids, tell them you love them and what you expect. Teach them what to do when confronted with drugs or alcohol. Earn their trust and they will feel confident talking to you about difficult topics like drugs and alcohol.
This article was written by Dixie Somers. Dixie is a freelance blogger and the mother of three wonderful young girls.