Did you know that kids whose parents talk to them about using alcohol, marijuana and other drugs are up to 50% less likely to use than those that don’t? As a parent you are the most important person in your child’s life. It is important to talk to them about how to make safe and healthy decisions when faced with a difficult situation. The more you talk with your kids, the more you can influence them to make good choices.
Finding the right words and right opportunities to talk to your kids about alcohol and drugs can be tricky. One thing to keep in mind is that this should be an ongoing conversation as opposed to a onetime event.
Ways to Start the Conversation
- During a Movie: While watching a movie that includes, drinking, smoking, drugs or other risky activities, use it as an opportunity to discuss these behaviors and to let your child how you feel about them.
- When the topic is in the news: Let’s say a major celebrity was just caught drinking and driving. This could be a good opportunity to discuss how drinking and drug use can negatively affect your image, and then to shift the conversation to celebrities that are more positive role models.
- When a classmate uses: Maybe your child will mention that a kid from their class was caught using marijuana, or maybe you will hear that a local teen was caught driving under the influence. Use these moments to talk with your kids about these topics. Ask them opened ended questions such as, “What do you think about what they were doing?”
- Provide age appropriate information.
- Start conversations early
- Keep it simple
- Listen to carefully to your child’s questions and opinions.
- Establish clear rules and consequences around drugs and alcohol.
- Set a good example.
Click here to learn more about talking to your kids about alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, as well as facts about drug use, and resources to help get the conversation started.