• 5 Ways to Talk With Your Kids about Alcohol and Drugs

    Conversations are one of the most powerful tools parents can use to teach and protect their kids. But figuring out what to say can be a tough challenge, especially when tackling topics about drugs and alcohol. The five following ways will help you have effective conversations with your kids and keep them free from drugs and alcohol.

    1. Start Talking with Your Kids Early and Often

    National studies show that the average age when kids begin using alcohol is 11; and some may already be abusing drugs at the age of 12 or 13. Start having conversations and teach your children about values and expectations while they are still young. Make sure your child knows right from the start that you think it’s important to avoid alcohol and drugs to stay safe. By starting early and talking regularly, your child will get used to sharing information and opinions with you. This will make it easier for you to continue talking as your child gets older.

    2. Encourage Responsible Choice

    Your child needs to know how using alcohol and drugs can harm the body and cause problems at home and in school. Kids who know the facts are more likely to make good choices. Encourage responsible choices by allowing your kids plenty of opportunities to become a confident decision-maker. As your kids become more skilled at making all kinds of good choices, both of you will feel more secure in their ability to make the right decision concerning alcohol and drugs if and when the time arrives. On the other hand, even if your kids may have tried using drugs and alcohol, you can still talk about making healthy choices and how to say “no” next time.

    3. Provide Age-Appropriate Information

    Make sure the information that you offer fits the child’s age and stage. A 6 or 7 year old does not need to know what different drugs look like but a 14 year old might need to. To provide clear and age-appropriate information about drugs and alcohol, research things and educate yourselves together. The internet can be a really useful source of age-appropriate information about drugs and alcohol.

    4. Establish A Clear Family Position On Drugs and Alcohol

    Simply state, “We don’t allow any drug use and children in this family are not allowed to drink alcohol.” If established clearly, these family rules about drugs and alcohol will help children avoid the temptation of using them.

    5. Discuss What Makes A Good Friend

    Since peer pressure is so important when it comes to kids’ involvement with drugs and alcohol, it makes good sense to talk with your children about what makes a good friend. Help your kids make positive choices by teaching them the characteristics of good friends. Model these characteristics yourself and encourage others in the household to follow them as well. Once you’ve gotten these examples across, your kids will understand that “friends” who pressure them to drink or use drugs aren’t friends at all.

    Source:

    http://healthfinder.gov/prevention/PrintTopic.aspx?topicId=65

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