How to talk to your child about drugs and alcohol

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Why You Should Talk With Your Child About Alcohol and Other Drugs

how to talk to your child about drugs and alcohol

Talking to Kids About Drugs and Alcohol

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Young people start using marijuana for many reasons. Curiosity, peer pressure, and the desire to fit in with friends are common ones. Those who have already begun to smoke cigarettes or use alcohol, or who have untreated mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD , or who have experienced trauma are at increased risk for marijuana use. For some, drug use begins as a means of coping with anxiety, anger, depression, or boredom. But, in fact, being high can be a way of simply avoiding the problems and challenges of growing up. There is no quick or simple solution for preventing teen drug use. Talk openly with your children and stay actively engaged in their lives.

Talking with your teen or young adult can be challenging. Having meaningful, ongoing conversations about drugs and alcohol, however, is key to helping keep your son or daughter healthy and safe. Here are 5 tips on how to talk with your son or daughter, foster mutual understanding and break through communication barriers so that you feel more connected to one another. Kids who say they learn a lot about the risks of drugs at home are significantly less likely to use drugs. Approach your conversation with openness and empathy and be sure to clearly communicate that you do not want your teen using drugs or alcohol. Remind your teen of your support and be sure to listen to what he or she has to say.

Start with preschoolers… Children at this age are not drug users, but if we talk to them now, before the problem exists, we can have an impact when they are 10, 11 and The foundation for all healthy habits, from eating nutritious foods to using proper hygiene to dressing appropriately for the weather, begins in the preschool years.
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When parents create supportive and nurturing environments, children make better decisions. If you talk to your kids directly and honestly, they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about alcohol and drug use. When parents talk with their children early and often about alcohol and other drugs, they can protect their children from many of the high-risk behaviors associated with using these drugs. It is never too early to talk to your children about alcohol and other drugs. Children as young as nine years old already start viewing alcohol in a more positive way, and approximately 3, kids as young as 12 try marijuana each day. Additionally, about five in 10 kids as young as 12 obtain prescription pain relievers for nonmedical purposes.

An age-by-age guide to discussing a difficult topic. Children today are exposed to tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs at increasingly younger ages. The media is rife with images that promote smoking and drinking as "cool," fun, and a natural part of life. That's why, more than ever, parents need to talk to their kids about the perils of drugs and help them separate fact from fiction. But how do you get started? According to experts, it's best to develop an ongoing dialogue with your child -- starting in the preschool years if possible -- and to look for spontaneous, everyday situations, or "teachable moments," in which to lay the groundwork for open, honest communication.

When to Start

Helping teenagers make good decisions about drinking and drugs can be a huge challenge for parents—especially for those who are uncomfortable about setting limits that they distinctly remember violating in their own teenage years. But in an environment where alcohol and pot are ubiquitous, research shows that clear parental direction helps kids reel in substance use and dangerous behavior. The Freedom Institute in New York runs workshops for parents and kids struggling with these issues. Parents have one idea about what it means, and kids have another idea about what it means. Research shows that if parents express expectations for experimentation, their kids will use, and the continuum of use tends to be more dramatic than kids whose parents lay out expectations for no experimentation. So if adolescents use alcohol, they are much more likely to feel the adverse effects, and they get drunker on less alcohol, and much quicker. Parents may be able to exercise moderation while their children may not be able to yet.



2 thoughts on “How to talk to your child about drugs and alcohol

  1. You're a role models for your kids, and your views on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs can strongly influence how they think about them. So make talking about drugs.

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