Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Drugs and Alcohol
Depending on the relationship you have with your child, it can be difficult to approach him or her about drugs and alcohol. As uncomfortable as this may be for you both, it’s far more comfortable than a future trip to an Orange County rehab facility or one of the affordable alcohol treatment centers. Have the chat now, before you lose your window to open the lines of communication about this topic.
Approach the Topic Casually
Nothing quite puts a kid on guard like a good old-fashioned “let’s sit down and talk” moment. If you want to open the lines of communication, you most certainly don’t want to have to work around a recently built personal wall of defense. Simply bring the topic up in general conversation. You might even bring it up when you are watching a movie, and they show someone using drugs. Just drop a casual line and observe your child’s reaction.
Relate Your Mistakes
When parents pretend as if they never made any mistakes, the child becomes wary about approaching them. You don’t have to lay it all on the line as if you are giving them an instruction in personal failure. Instead, you might share the type of peer pressure you went through, or one or two of the things you did that ended with serious consequences or fears. This makes you fallible in their eyes, which makes it okay for them to share their own mistakes or issues they might be going through.
Ask about Drug Use at Your Child’s School
Your child may be concerned about drug use in their school. They might also be dealing with peer pressure from various sources. When you open the topic as a general conversation about the school, rather than the child, you provide the perfect venue for your child to share any issues they are having. There may be more peer pressure than you realize, or there may be none at all. It may even be that your child has taken a firm stance on drug awareness and is concerned about his or her friends.
Combine It with Other Issues
Kids today face a lot of pressures from the media, society, and schools. Everything seems to be measured so that you need just the right scores on tests, size of jeans, or numbers on a scale. Talk with your child about these issues, and simply bring up drugs and alcohol as one of the issues that kids have to deal with today. Make it known that you understand the pressure that society can place on you, and relate the ways this happens in your life, like trying to keep up with the neighbors, and the size of home you live in.
In short, do whatever you have to do to make it known that it is safe to approach you for conversations concerning drugs and alcohol. The very last thing you ever want to do is make your child feel as if he or she can’t approach you with their concerns, or with the mistakes they may have made.