Children of engaged parents are far less likely to try or become addicted to drugs and alcohol. It is imperative that parents take the initiative to open lines of communication with their children about the dangers of substance abuse. There is perhaps no greater influence – positive or negative – in the lives of youth than that of their parents.
- Hold your child accountable for school attendance, homework assignments and grades
- Talking to and actively listening to your child on a regular basis
- Proactively meet and get to know your child’s friends
- Make clear rules and enforce them consistently
- Involve young children in positive activities – team sports, after school programs, etc.
- Talk to your children about drugs/alcohol expressing the dangers and risks involved
- Monitor television programs and movies that the child watches in order to eliminate those that may glorify drug use/abuse
The most important thing is to engage your child in constructive conversation and thought about the downsides and dangers of using drugs. Talking about drugs/alcohol with your children will help you to make your expectations clear and express your views on the dangers of drugs/alcohol in a way that is healthy and easy to understand. Avoiding the topic will leave unanswered questions that will create susceptibility to outside negative influences.