Talking to Your Kids About Drugs
Discussing the dangers of drug use with your child can be awkward. But, it is very important to let them know how you feel and answer any questions they might have. Here are some helpful tips when talking to your child:
- Start early. While you're teaching your kids about the dangers of strangers, matches, and playing in the road, you need to educate your kids about the dangers of drugs.
- Set clear rules. Make sure your child understands that you will not tolerate the use of alcohol or any drugs. Let them know that they will be punished if they disobey. Set clear, reasonable rules.
- Educate yourself. Learn why drugs are so addictive and that the use of some drugs can lead to harder ones.
- Listen to what your child is saying. Don't do all the talking. Ask questions. Find out what your child thinks and what their friends think.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Let your child know that they can come to you with any problems.
- Get involved with your child's life. Do activities together. Be involved with their school and sports.
- Learn symptoms. Changes in your child's behavior and appearance can be signs of drug use.
- Don't preach. If a conversation lasts more than five minutes, you're probably preaching. Kids have short attention spans. It's better to have lots of short talks.
- Promote alternative activities. Encourage your child to get involved in a sport or take lessons on musical instrument. Help channel energy into positive results.
- Ask for help. Your child's school may have a drug counselor. Your doctor or county health organization may also be of assistance.