Raising kids in this world can be challenging. There are so many things to worry about as parents and so many skills your child needs to know in order to have a happy and successful life once they leave your home. One thing you can teach them both by talking to them and by your example is about drugs, including illicit drug use and the proper use of prescription drugs. To help get these conversations started, here are three tips for talking to your kids about drugs.
Be In the Know Yourself
Before you can have a meaningful conversation about anything, you have to have a decent understanding of it, and that includes drugs. In a suggestion given by the U.S. government, parents should make it a priority to be aware of what certain drugs look like, what drug paraphernalia looks like, and what slang terms for certain drugs are. By knowing this before talking with your children, you can give them accurate information as well as look for signs that something may be amiss in your child’s perception of the drug culture.
Because the names of drugs and the ways in which they are presented and used can change frequently, gaining your own understanding about drugs will make you an invaluable resource to and for your children. The devil you know if better than the one you don’t.
Persuade Using Facts, Not Fear
Although the drug culture can be a scary one, it may not be in the best interest of your child to try to persuade them against participating in recreational drug use by fear or coercion. According to Laura Broadwell, a contributor to Parent.com, kids will respond better to facts about drugs rather than scare tactics. Especially if your children are still in grade school or middle school, their minds will find it easier to remember interesting facts about drugs and your attitude toward those facts when they are presented with a situation in which drugs are being offered to them.
Talk Sooner Rather Than Later
Even if your child is only in grade school, it’s never too early to start talking to him or her about the harmful effects of drug use. In fact, KidsHealth.org states that the younger you speak to your kids about drugs and drug use, the more open these line of communication will be when they are older and need more strict counsel. This is because kids between the ages of 8 and 12 are more likely to speak openly with their parents about touchy subjects like drugs, helping you to create an atmosphere of honesty and respect as your child ages and may become more shut out and obstinate.
Addressing tough issues like drugs and drug use with your children could be just what they need to have the information necessary to make the right decisions regarding illicit drug use in the future. To give your kids the best chance possible for a rich and fulfilling life without drugs, use the tips mentioned above to speak to your children today.