Talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol
Just like it is important to talk to your kids about sex, it is important to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol. The biggest thing to remember when talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol is to practice what you preach. So if you tell your kids the dangers of smoking but smoke yourself, just know that your kids are going to spot the inconsistencies. This also applies to drinking. If you tell your kids how bad drinking is and then have a few drinks after work and get drunk in front of them they will notice that you haven’t been totally forthcoming in your talk about drugs and alcohol. Your kids watch how you drink and how you act and will learn from you the appropriate ways and principles when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
The best thing to do when you talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol is to be completely honest. If you approach the conversation about drugs with a completely biased view your kids might go looking for the answers elsewhere. The problem that a lot of parents run into is the fact that they tried drugs and alcohol in their own childhood and now have to tell their children not to do it. While you may feel like you should lie, don’t. Share your experience and tell the truth. When you talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol they will be able to tell if you are being truthful. When you share your experience don’t glamourize or romanticize about your drug use and drinking and talk about how much fun it was, tell them you know what you were doing was dangerous and may even have known people who didn’t come out of the partying unscathed. Give them real life so that they know exactly what to expect. Of course you’ll have to use your discretion depending on their age but don’t beat around the bush.
While telling them about your drug use is honest and not romanticizing it is great you also don’t want to lie about the dangers either. When you talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol, remember that they live in a different culture than you grew up in. Research the drugs that adolescents and teens are now using, talk to the school nurse, and find out what’s currently happening in teen drug abuse. Adolescents look up to their parents and hold their opinions in high regards so be informed for yourself and for your child. If you’ve done your research you’ll know what drug abuse signs to look for or even know where your kids are hiding their drugs ; if you suspect that to be happening. And if your child is addicted to drugs you’ll know how to get them help or how to stop enabling them.
Talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol might not be an easy conversation for you or them but it is necessary. If your approach is too cool, you might raise questions about your own drug use and will have to find a way to deal with it later on. If you come across as too naïve on the subject you are going to lose credibility. The best thing you can do is just be a parent. When you talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol speak openly about your concerns. If you can find a good book, research findings, video, or other resources then check them out together. If your kid tells you they already know about drugs and that they’re drug free, that’s great but you still must have the talk. You never know, they could be lying about it because they feel uncomfortable, are doing drugs or just think it’s uncool.
You do not want to make the mistake of the generations before that either ignored the possibility of their kids using drugs and alcohol altogether. Experts estimate that 20% of teens have used prescription drugs to get high, and 17% of students drink, smoke, and use drugs during the school day. Our youth is using drugs and you can’t rely on the commonly used “not my kid” attitude because no one is immune to addiction. It’s time to take action! Remember when talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol you want to be…
- Informed with the facts…
- Trusting in sharing your personal experiences…
- And supporting in their experiences and views.
At the end of the day if your child wants to try drugs they are going to do it and all you can do is be the best parent that you can and help steer them in the right direction. No matter what you must talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol in some capacity because just ignoring it is or thinking your child just won’t use drugs is unlikely and could be potentially damaging.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for Alcohol or Drug Addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.