How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs

How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs

How to talk to your kids about drugs? When I was a little kid, my parents warned me about drugs. They told me that if I ever used them, it would ruin my life. That did not scare me enough to keep me from smoking pot in college and taking ecstasy at a rave.In this article we will cover helpful steps on how to talk to your kids about drugs.

I don’t regret these experiences–they made for some of the most amazing memories of my life–but they also helped make up the mindset that led to an addiction to heroin and cocaine. Drugs were just another thing to try out when I felt bored or restless or wanted something different than what was happening in front of me.

It took years before it finally dawned on me how much those drugs had cost me: lost jobs, friendships, family members who could no longer stand to be around me, a criminal record–and more.

I’m lucky that today I have my life back and am free from drugs. But along the way to recovery, I’ve learned that talking about drugs with kids can be much more effective than scare tactics. Here are five tips for taking “drugs” with kids:

1) Make Sure They Know You Love Them​

Kids won’t do what you tell them to do unless they know you care. They need to hear from you in a cheerful, reassuring voice that you will always be there for them no matter what happens during their teen years. 

If your son wants to talk about his drug use, keep in mind that he is coming to you because he craves your approval and wants to see if you will be angry or disappointed. Listen with empathy and don’t lecture.

Showing love to children

2) Talk to Your Kids About Drugs as Part of a Bigger Picture of Health Choices​

I could have talked all day about the damage drugs were going to do, but until I also tapped into how drugs affected me personally–my body, emotions, relationships with friends and family–that information didn’t seem like it was going to stick.

Don’t just tell your kids about the dangers of drug use; show them why they will be better off without drugs by talking about all the positive things they can do with their lives and bodies.

Family interaction

3) Find Out What Your Kid Hears at School, From Friends, and in the Media​

Make sure you know how aware they are of drug issues, which drugs their peers are using or thinking about trying, and how much peer pressure there is to experiment. Prepare them for the questions their friends may ask them.

Mother watching with kids

4) Let Your Child Know That You Are There for Them, No Matter What They Decide​

 If your kid goes through a period of trying drugs, do not give up on them. Your love and support can make the difference in whether they quit using drugs or uses them for years without stopping.

monopoly

5) Help Your Kid Make Healthy Choices and Talk to Your Kids About Drugs​

Above all, help your child find things to take the place of drugs. You can point out local activities and resources–a club, a team, volunteer work–and be prepared to escort events or sign permission slips that will open up new experiences for them. Let them know you are supportive of whatever positive steps they take toward a healthier life.

When my parents talked to me about drugs, I knew they loved me. That knowledge made them an effective influence in my life–not their fear-based threats that are so common among many parents today.

Questions

It Is Essential to Let Your Child Know How You Feel Before You Even Begin Talking About Drugs.​

When they hear the facts, it makes a difference. Kids respond best when their parents’ care and respect are shown every day.  Remember: When kids want something badly enough, they’ll do just about anything to get it.

What scares people into abstinence isn’t being hampered by specific laws; instead, we feel we did things “under the influence” and regretted it the next day. There’s a big difference between having a good time with your friends and getting drunk or high at a party, then going home with someone you don’t know very well–only to be attacked or otherwise hurt.

As far as I’m concerned, part of growing up is learning that anything done in excess is wrong for us. We can drink wine and beer in moderation–anything else is just abuse. And smoking cigarettes can be okay if we never allow them to control our lives (just like drugs).

Parents Need to Take Charge of Their Children​

Instead of leaving it up to peer pressure or media hype by talking about these issues openly with their kids before they get into trouble doing things they’ll regret.

Teaching kids

Parents need to talk about the severe reasons why drug use is not okay–not just what’s illegal, but how it can destroy our lives.  We need to tell them we love them and support whatever decisions they make, no matter which direction they choose. 

If drugs are of concern, be open about that too–letting kids know you’re there for them whenever they want help with these issues. In this way, parents send a message that their kids can always turn to them when they have problems…problems that you’ll help your children find solutions  for problems that might mean drug abuse or worse.

Drugs Are a Massive Problem in Our Society​

In fact, drug abuse has reached epidemic levels, and the consequences have been devastating to many people’s lives. This is why all parents need to talk with their kids about drugs before they get exposed or start experimenting on their own–so that we can avoid these heartbreaking outcomes together

By Rosa Norris

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