Studies show that teens who have discussions with their parents about drugs and alcohol are less likely to develop an addiction. But unfortunately, many parents are still failing to talk to their kids about this important topic. Many feel that it’s something they won’t have to worry about until their teen is older. But statistics show that many a large percentage of teens have their first alcoholic drink at 15. Kids who are just starting high school can also be offered drugs by older teens in their school. So to help your kids make smart choices, start the conversation by using these top tips.
Ask your kids what they know
One of the best ways to start this conversation is by asking your kids how much they know about drugs and alcohol. They might be embarrassed at first, but encourage them to share their knowledge. You might be surprised by just how much they know or have learned from TV or social media. This gives them an opportunity to ask you questions while also giving you a chance to fill in any gaps in their knowledge. You should also ask them whether someone has offered drugs or alcohol to them and if they tried. Encourage them to open up and share their concerns with your. Once, they have told you of their experiences and their knowledge, you can then tailor your approach more effectively.
Talk about your experiences
During your conversation, don’t be afraid to share your past experiences with drugs and alcohol too. After all, you were a teenager once too. Talk about how you felt and what they consequences were for your actions. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail. Just share basic details that will show your kids that you have been in the same situation as them. This can be incredibly insightful for your teen as they can learn from your mistakes and make better choices. It can also make them more aware of how these situations can arise. You can talk through what they should say if someone offers them a substance and how to distance themselves from negative influences.
Explain what the risks are
When your kids are encouraged to try a substance by others, they are likely to be told how amazing and fun it is. If they don’t know what the risks are before this happens, this can entice them to try drugs or alcohol even more. So during your talk with them, outline what risks and consequences there are. They might get expelled, end up in hospital or rehab and even spend time in jail. While you can prevent them being offered drugs or alcohol, you can give them the knowledge they need to stay no.
While it can be easy to put off this often difficult conversation, you need to make it a priority. Talk to your teenager and answer any questions they may have with complete honesty and openness. If you suspect your teen might already have an addiction, get further advice from a young person’s rehab center.
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