Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Drugs – Time To Talk.org
When young people use drugs, it is sometimes a form of rebellion, alienation, despair, peer pressure or some combination. Adolescent drug use can also be the result of effective marketing targeted to young people by those who profit from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs. As a parent, you can have a powerful effect on how your children deal with these pressures when they see drugs as an answer. One very effective deterrent is talking with your kids about drugs.
Take A Stand
One of the biggest deterrent to drug use is talking with your children about the subject ~ early, often, and specifically. Don’t despair if it doesn’t seem to register. Weeks or months later you’ll very likely hear your words coming back to you.
When talking to your children about drugs, don’t do all the talking. Listen. Ask questions. Find out what they think. If you don’t listen to them, they won’t talk to you, much less listen to you.
Set The Rules
Children need to know exactly what the rules are. The rules have to be clear, consistent and reasonable. . . .and enforced. Every child will try to find out exactly how far he or she can go. And drugs are no place for trial and error.
Just as surely as you need to teach your children not to play in the street, you need to teach them about the dangers of drugs. They will very likely be exposed to drugs from kindergarten on. So say it early. Say it often. And match the message to your child’s age.
It’s not a matter of learning the latest street talk. It’s a matter of learning why crack is so dangerous. . . .that marijuana can is harmful to the human body. . . and that every illegal drug has the potential of causing catastrophic damage to your child.
We know that communication with your kids about drugs is very important. That dialogue is almost impossible unless you’ve built a foundation. . . by doing things with them. . . by getting involved with their school and their sports. . . . and by knowing their friends and their friends’ parents. Perhaps the single biggest deterrent to drug abuse is communication – simply talking with your kids about drugs. That’s almost impossible unless you’ve built a foundation. By doing things with them. By getting involved with their school and their sports. By knowing their friends.
Talking and communicating with your child about the dangers of drug use is very important. But don’t preach, or you’ll lose them. If a conversation lasts more than five minutes, you’re preaching. Better to have lots of five-minute conversations. Kids have short attention spans and shorter memories.