Today’s children are easily exposed to drugs, alcohol and other vices that can take them down the wrong path. Whether it’s the media or peer-pressure, there’s a message being relayed that ‘all the cool kids are doing it.’ As a parent, you want to prevent your child from going down that path by protecting them. It’s a very thin like though, because you wouldn’t want to push them away. On the contrary, you want to build a healthy communication strategy so they will come to you for information and know they’re supported.

There are many ways you can talk to your child and steps that need to be taken as you raise them into wonderful and responsible human beings. Many offer coaching and communication strategy workshops for parents who either want to prevent a drug problem or recover from one. There are rehabs available that focus on rehabilitation, you can read more here to have an idea of what would be offered.

Below are reasons why it’s absolutely vital a child learns about drugs from their parents.

The odds are in your favor

Research shows that children who find out about drugs from their parents are less likely to use them. Experts believe that by opening up a healthy dialogue with your child, as early as pre-school, and establishing teachable life lessons, it helps create strong family ties and prevents the child from developing a drug habit.  Not talking about drugs with your kids can actually push them to develop the idea that drugs are not harmful. They would start thinking that since everybody is doing it, what’s the harm in dabbling with drugs, just because they were not warned of its dangers.

Start early as possible

You might think that starting to talk to your child when they’re in pre-school is a fairly early time. However, the sooner you talk, the better the chance you have in influencing their decisions.  Having a conversation with them allows you to set rules about the way they lead their lives. Children these days are subjected to drugs in almost all their types pretty early, so it’s better to give them an idea about drugs before they’re exposed to it on their own and make their own decision. Following a guideline and rule strategy with your kids actually helps develop their character, routine, and responsibility towards their actions.

Your influence is stronger than you think

When you, as a parent, create a strong, supportive and nurturing environment at home, kids make better decisions on the long run. They feel safe and supported and so take greater risks on the road to success and avoid vices that will bring them down. If you’re communicating honestly and openly since childhood, it will last to adolescence where it truly matters. It’s easy for young teens to find support elsewhere if it’s lacking at home. Become the role-model your child needs.  

Be their number one source of information

When kids need information on something and they don’t feel comfortable discussing it with their parents, then they will definitely get their information from someplace else. But where they seek answers doesn’t necessarily mean it will provide them with the reliable and correct answers. And the wrong answer to their question can open up a can of worms. Parents need to educate themselves and relay the information back to their children; it clears up any misconceptions they might have and their curiosity won’t get the best of them. You need to the primary source of information for your child.  

A talk greatly helps

Sometimes blunt school campaigns like ‘say no to drugs’ just won’t cut it. Preventing drug abuse needs to be done a little more personally. Parents exposing the concept of drug abuse early on and developing an open communication policy will drastically help the child’s development and decision making process. Create an environment for your child where they won’t need to resort to drugs.

 

Published by Johanne Cosihan