Kids start out as these wonderful bursts of joy that make us laugh, cry, and make our heart melt with their innocence and unfiltered commentary. As they grow up, they become more independent (even at an early age). They start to regurgitate back to us what they have learned from us and others. They make their own decisions based on what they see, what they hear, and what they are told to do. Many parents caregivers, friends, and relatives truly do understand that all of our actions today determine the future of our children – if they live happy, productive lives, or if they’ll take another route.
Today, drugs and alcohol are a major epidemic in society. Handling the drug crisis begins with prevention. The following are tips on how to educate your child about drugs.
Have an open line with your child about substances again and again. Having an open dialogue is the most important way for them to learn about drug and the harm they cause. Talking to them about it more than once will reinforce the factor that it is very important to you, and should be important for them to look at.
With younger children, your opinion on what’s “bad” and what’s “good is very important. Teaching them which things can help and which things can harm them can help cognitively in the long-run. As your child gets older, you can explain that the things they choose to put into their bodies that aren’t meant to be eaten or taken can make them very sick. You can teach them that drugs harm the body’s natural functions and can be extremely dangerous to them as well as others around them.
At a younger age, talk to them about making good choices for their bodies. Let them know their bodies will help them get anywhere they want to go – and to get there, their body needs to be healthy.
Know The Facts
Prepare yourself with the truth about substances so you can be prepared to answer their questions. There are many informative websites and professionals where you can obtain information such as Sober Nation. Most of these pages are easy to read and give the facts – so you can be prepared and make your own decisions.
Normalize These Topics of Communication
Having an open line of communication from the very beginning can help your child in the long-run. By letting your kids know you are a safe person for them to come to for help, can increases the chances of them telling you what is happening in their lives – good or bad. As they grow into high school, there is often more pressure to take drugs or drink alcohol. By role-playing and giving them different types of scenarios, it can help when tough situations for your teen can come up in real life – because they will.
Define Addiction For Your Children
Be sure that your child knows that using drugs can become a bad habit that is very difficult to control or quit. Essentially poisons, a little bit of one substance can speed you up, and a little bit of another will slow you down, and too much can kill you. Too much of any drug can kill brain cells, the liver, or the body.
Know Your Own Viewpoints
Let your children know that drug and alcohol abuse can lead to harming others, not just oneself, including emotionally, mentally, and physically – including fatal accidents. While taking anything in excess can be dangerous, even certain over the counter medications should be followed up by asking their parent.
Know Their Friends
As your child gets older and begins to discover their independence, you can’t protect them from everything in life. However, you can help them make the correct decisions regarding who they interact with. Let them know they can ensure a better future and a happier life for themselves if they surround themselves with positive, constructive people who share in anti-drug point of view.
Social Media and Pop Culture
Social media, TV shows, movies, and commercials can often times glamorize smoking, drinking, and drug use – however, while it may seem like the “cool” thing to do at the time, let your child know the realities of this and by choosing to partake in this, can come with serious consequences. Often times, social media and pop culture tend to not show the other side of the substances.
Praise Them For What They Do Right
Part of educating your kids is validating them for making positive choices. Praise your children for what they do right – for taking care of their bodies – bathing, brushing their teeth, etc, as a smaller child. When they get older, praise them for things like eating healthy, getting good grades, and staying drug-free.
If you’re a parent abusing drugs or are addicted to them yourself, it can hard to keep your kids away from knowing or using drugs later in lives themselves. Parents who abuse drugs are statistically more likely to have children who abuse them. By giving the kids of today the truth, they can make educated and informed decisions about drugs and set forth in helping create a new, safer future.