How Do I Talk to my Kids About Drugs?
As parents, there are many things that you need to know and things you can do to help. There is no greater influence on a young person’s decisions about drug use than his/her parents or guardians. To successfully keep kids drug-free, parents must provide active support and positive role-modeling. Parents are key in preventing drug use. Establish boundaries that take a clear stand against drug use.
What should parents do?
- Educate yourself – visit websites such as drugfree.org, ked.org or drugabuse.gov for information, tools, resources and support
- Communicate the risks of drug use and abuse to your kids. Children who learn a lot about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who do not get that critical message from their parents.
- Safeguard your medicine. The majority of teens obtain prescription drugs and other drugs/alcohol they abuse from friends and relatives, sometimes without their knowledge. Keep these dangerous items in a secure place.
What should you do if your child asks tough questions about drugs and alcohol?
- Remain calm. Take a deep breath before responding
- Keep an open mind. If your child feels judged, he/she is less likely to be receptive to what you have to say.
- Avoid lecturing. Instead, try to come from a place of positivity which will help with a more open conversation.
- Thank you child for coming to you with a question. This will reassure them that you are a safe person to get answers from.
- Remind your child that you care about their health and well-being.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call your School Social Worker.