Parents will do almost anything to keep their children safe, but communicating with youth becomes more challenging as they get older. That’s why you should talk to your children about alcohol and other drugs early. It’s a conversation that you need to have because drugs can ruin your child’s life.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many parents now have the opportunity to spend more time with their children, and even teach them important life lessons. Now could be the perfect time to sit down with your child and teach them about drug and alcohol addiction.
Yearly, millions of teens try alcohol, marijuana or tobacco products for the first time. Most of them won’t get caught. Some of them won’t become addicted. But a significant portion of them will, and the consequences can be devastating.
You can keep your children from becoming a statistic by being involved in their lives, having honest conversations with them and practicing what you preach.
Some parents, despite their best efforts, will have a child who develops a substance use disorder. That doesn’t mean the parent or child has failed. Helping a child recover from addiction is only one of the many challenges parents might face.
How to Discuss Teen Addiction With Your Child
Many children don’t like being told what to do. They also disliked being lectured. When you communicate with teens, make sure you give them input in the conversation. Ask them what their views on drugs are and listen to their questions.
Get started at a young age so your children are used to having the conversation with you. A 2014 survey found 42 percent of teens whose parents believed underage drinking was somewhat unacceptable or completely acceptable admitted to drinking. Comparatively, 8 percent of teens whose parents were against underage drinking said they had tried alcohol.
Don’t treat teenagers like they are children, and don’t overwhelm young children with too many facts about drug abuse. It can be difficult to know how to talk to youth. Here are some tips.
Tips for Talking to Your Children About Drugs at All Ages:
- Children are too young to understand what drugs are.
- Promote healthy living.
- Encourage positive decision-making.
- Encourage personal responsibility.
- Teach children to avoid dangerous household chemicals.
- Talk about short-term consequences of alcohol and other drugs. Long-term consequences are too complex to comprehend.
- Condemn drug-related messages in the media.
- Set clear rules for behavior.
- Promote problem-solving skills.
- Teach kids to avoid dangerous situations.
- Preach the importance of rules.
- Teach them how to say no to drugs.
- Empower them to make good decisions.
- Keep drug-related conversations fact based.
- Teach preteens the difference between fantasy and reality.
- Ensure teens know the consequences of breaking rules.
- Praise teens for positive decisions.
- Show interest in their daily lives.
- Teach them the negative effects drugs have on physical appearance.
- Don’t rely on schools to prevent drug abuse.
- Use detailed, realistic messages when talking about drugs.
- Emphasize consequences of drugs, like decreasing the chances of getting into college.
- Challenge them to be positive leaders.
- Use news reports as starters for drug-related conversations.
- Reward them for making positive choices.
Bricolage Behavioral Health is Here for the Teens of Flower Mound, Texas
The staff here at Bricolage Behavioral Health does not want teen mental health to continue being swept under the rug.
We believe the whole family gets stronger when their kids and adolescents have the best tools to live both functionally and happily, and we have unique assessment methods and counseling plans to make it happen for each individual family we work with.
Offering Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient Care (which can work around your son or daughter’s school schedule!), and aftercare plans, we want to bring out the inner resilience in your children and help your whole family.
Located on Long Prairie Road, near Firewheel Drive and the Montessori Rainbow School, and close to one of Flower Mound’s large residential areas, we are convenient to reach out to.
So, don’t wait for your kids to spiral out of control. Talk to them. And then talk to us.
Call Bricolage Behavioral Health for a Mental Health Assessment for Your Child or Teen Today: 469-968-5700