Tips and Ideas to Help Parents Make a Difference
- Be absolutely clear with your kids that you do not condone the use of drugs. Don’t leave room for interpretation. Talk often about the dangers of drug and alcohol use – more than one or twice a year.
- Give honest answers. Don’t make up what you don’t know. If asked whether you’ve ever taken drugs, let your child know it is important to learn from the mistakes of others, so we can protect the future health and safety everyone.
- Don’t react in a way that will cut off further discussion. If your child says things that challenge or shock you, turn them into a calm discussion of why he or she thinks people use drugs; whether they’re worth the risk.
Build Mutual Respect
- Be a living, day-to-day example of your value system. Show the compassion, honesty, generosity and openness you want your child to have.
- Know that there is no such thing as “do as I say not as I do” when it comes to drugs. If you take drugs, you can’t expect your child to take your advice. Seek professional help is necessary.
- Examine your own behavior. If you abuse drugs or alcohol, your kids are going to pick up on it. Or if you laugh at a drunk or stoned person in a movie, you send a bad message to your child.
- Create rules – and discuss in advance the consequences of breaking them. Don’t make empty threats or let the rule-breaker off easy. Don’t impose harsh or unexpected new punishments.
- Have kids check in at regular times. Follow through is key, if you don’t care they will not care.
- Call parents whose home is to be used for a party. On party night, don’t be afraid to stop in to say hello (and make sure that adult supervision is in place).
Seek Help Early
If you have concerns for any person, child, teen, or adult, it is crucial to seek help.
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