How to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol

Children are naturally curious, so it is very important that you be honest with them and start talking to you children about the dangers of abusing drugs and alcohol at a young age. There are many different resources that you can take advantage of if you need help deciding type of information you need to provide you child based on their age and likely exposure to drugs and alcohol.

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Many studies have shown that kids of all ages that feel like they can talk to their parents openly and ask questions about drugs and alcohol, are less likely to develop dangerous addictions than children who are uninformed and feel like they cannot talk to their parents about this serious issue. Here are a few age appropriate guidelines that will help you start a conversation with you child about drugs and alcohol.

Your child is never too young to begin teaching them about drugs and how they impact lives. When your child is sick, you probably give them cough medicine or other medicine that will make them better. While you are administering their medications, you have probably talked to them about the importance of only taking the amount you are giving them and never trying to take medicine on their own. By having that conversation, you have already started teaching your children about drugs and the dangers they pose if they are used improperly. Your children may also encounter smokers during their preschool and elementary school years. That is the perfect time to talk to them about what smoking can do to your body and remind them that taking any kind of medication outside of doctor supervision is dangerous.

As your child grows and reaches nine to ten years of age, you may not want to face it but is some places kids of this age are already coming into contact with kids who smoke, drink, or partake in illegal drugs. When your children are finishing up their elementary school years, it is a good idea to ask them about their personal feelings about drugs and alcohol. Do not pose your questions in an accusatory way, it is best to just appear interested in their thoughts on the subject. By bringing the topic to their attention, you will open the door for any questions they may have. At this point, most children are still comfortable seeking their parents’ advice on subjects they do not fully understand.

By the time your child enters their early teen years, you have hopefully laid the ground work for an open dialogue. Nearly every teen in the United States knows several people who regularly do drugs or consume alcohol on a monthly basis. Talking with your teens about the dangers of irresponsible drinking and drug use is very important. It is also important to establish some ground rules for driving and other privileges they may have. Make it easy for your child to feel comfortable communicating with you if they ever find themselves in a situation where they need help getting home. Reassuring your child, that they can call you anytime if they are in a situation where the person giving them a ride has become impaired, could save their life.

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Author: ParentingMaven

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