Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Talking to Your Kids About Drugs

Talking to Your Kids About Drugs

Talking to your kids about drugs can be difficult. Many parents find the thought of approaching the subject difficult. However with the right motivation and direction you can help your child understand the dangers of drugs so they can avoid the temptation throughout their lives.

Our view is that one of the most important roadblocks of drug use among young people is a parent who wants to spend time with their child - someone who wants to communicate with them about their friends, school, and interests. Popular opinions say that the more you are involved with your children's lives, the more positive they will feel about themselves and your views on the dangers of drugs.
drug education | red ribbon week
Talk to your kids about the dangers of drugs!

Red Ribbon Week is still 11 months away so here are our Top 10 suggestions on creating a lasting relationship with your children so that you can better communicate the dangers of drugs and alcohol to them.

1. Play an active role in their life
Life can be pretty hectic for adults but you have to set aside to time to spend with your children. Establish routines for spending time with them and learn to take an interest in their activities and hobbies. This quality time together is very important in building a lasting foundation of truthful communication.

2. Listen to your children's views
Allowing your child a chance to express their views is a great way to gain trust. If you show you are willing to listen then it will help them feel more comfortable when talking to you. Let them speak and don't interrupt. Children must feel comfortable in communicating openly with you which also shows you are willing to value their opinion.

3. Be a role model 
One of the most important steps in building trust and communication is that you are also doing what you are saying. If you do drugs how can you expect your children to listen to your concerns? You are your child's first role-model in this world. Don't underestimate how much you influence your children with your actions. If you misuse drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or medications...then most likely they will too.

4. Always be honest with them 
Sometimes you won't have every answer to every question about drugs. It's important in these moments to be honest and let your child know that you are willing to find the answers. This honesty can go a long way in establishing trust. Research the answers together...you might be surprised how close of a bond this will create between each other.

5. Pick the right time to talk
Try to make sure that you find the right times to discuss drugs with your kids. Natural opportunities such as watching TV, or throwing the football in the backyard are great for opening a dialogue of discussion with your child. Look for natural openings such as your child talking about their friends or someone at school.

6. Always stay calm
Calm, cool, and collected is the best policy when it comes to talking about drugs. If you overreact and don't stay calm, this could hinder future discussions between yourself and your child concerning drugs. If your kids think you will overreact about drugs they will resist talking about them to you at all.

7. Avoid conflict 
If there is conflict between you and your child, it's going to be difficult to discuss or solve a problem concerning drugs. Do your best to resolve the conflict so that everyone can focus on the task at hand. Conflict can drive a wedge between you and your child. Try to understand your child's point of view while encouraging them to understand yours.

8. Keep talking
Once you open a dialogue with your child it's important to keep this dialogue going. Start talking about the dangers of drugs early and always be willing to talk to your kids about the issue in a moment's notice.

9. Set precise boundaries and rules
Don't be afraid to set ground rules. In most cases kids expect and appreciate having some ground rules. One of the best ways to establish these rules is to actively involve your kids in discussing and setting the rules. This can be a great way to encourage them to take more responsibility by sticking to the rules they helped create. Find ways to discuss how your child will use these rules to stay out of compromising situations involving drug use. By setting these rules you are helping your kids avoid being exposed to drugs in the first place.

10. Focus and encourage the positives
By focusing and encouraging the positives in your child's good behavior you are helping them feel good about themselves and helping them develop a healthy respect about being drug free. Your support and encouragement as well as a healthy attitude toward communication will be the key in preventing your child from ever wanting to use drugs.

We hope you find these steps helpful and encouraging when talking to your child about the dangers of drugs. Remember that being involved with your child is the best way to stay informed and the best way to prevent drug abuse. These steps are also great for teachers and faculty in preparation for Red Ribbon Week. Check back with us on our blog for more tips and ideas or visit us at www.nimcoinc.com for teaching materials and Red Ribbon Week supplies.