Talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol can be a difficult thing to do. Ideally, the subject could be avoided – but unfortunately, it’s unwise to allow your children to grow up without some knowledge of drugs and alcohol. The hardest thing to know is how to approach them properly.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can properly talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.
Approaching Youth About Drugs and Alcohol
The first thing that many parents tell their kids about drugs and alcohol is that they’re completely bad and should be avoided at all costs.
While this might sound like the simplest thing to do, it’s also one of the easiest things to backfire on you. There are several reasons for this.
- As anyone who has raised kids will know, simply telling them not to do something without just cause will make them want to do the thing.
- Telling them that ‘drugs and alcohol are just bad’ will lead to them questioning others who choose to drink recreationally – their perspective on these individuals will either be soured or, if they respect the individual, they will question whether or not drugs are actually ‘just bad.’
Both of these situations could actually make your children more interested in drugs and alcohol, which is obviously an undesirable situation. There are a few suggestions that can help you keep your kids away from alcohol.
- Be honest. Young children are especially receptive to truth and authenticity. If you explain that drugs can be very dangerous and that they can easily spiral out of control down the road to addiction, your genuine concern may make them more likely to avoid drugs than simply forbidding them from doing so.
- Start early. If you’re watching a movie with your kid and someone lights up a cigarette, explain to them about the dangers and health problems caused by tobacco addiction. If you see alcohol glorified in movies, assure them that alcohol can actually be quite problematic.
- Make sure that they’re comfortable. Be calm, collected, and open when discussing drugs and alcohol with kids. This will encourage them to engage in the conversation and will make them more likely to listen to you.
Tips for Laying Groundwork
There are a few tips that you might want to consider to lay a firm foundation for your kids.
- Be available! If your kid is going through emotional problems, let them know that you are available to talk to them.
- Consider role-playing. Role-playing can help your child come up with ways to refuse drugs if they’re offered.
- Create a warm and positive environment where your child feels comfortable expressing themselves openly and honestly.
- Be aware of their social life. Kids who are isolated may be more prone to drug use – but so are kids who socialize with other drug users.
It’s important to know how to talk to your children about drugs and alcohol. Following these guidelines can help you ensure that your children will never need to go to rehab.