As a parent you have learned that the things you say and do have a tremendous influence on the choices your child makes; this holds true when it comes to using drugs or alcohol. Current research has shown that children who have been educated about the dangers of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use them. Fort Collins New Life Center wants you to know that you can make the difference in your child’s life by talking to him or her about drugs and alcohol. Doing so will help them make better, safer choices in their future and go on to live healthier lives.
Fort Collins New Life Center wants to help give you some tips to get the conversation going with your child. While starting the conversation with your kids and keeping the lines of communication open is not always easy, it may not be as difficult as you think. In order to have an effective dialog with your child remember to: keep it private, seize teachable moments, be sensitive to your child’s needs, make sure it is a two-way conversation, ask open ended questions and admit when you’re stumped.
Keeping your conversation private will make it easier for your child to feel open to communicating with you. It will also allow you to openly answer their questions without fear that others may overhear and pass judgment. Finding teachable moments is valuable when it comes to speaking about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. For instance, if your son or daughter mentions there was alcohol or marijuana at a party they attended this would be an ideal moment to begin discussing their choice not to use and why these substances pose a danger.
As a parent you will need to make sure that you are being sensitive to your child’s needs when talking about drugs and alcohol. If it is an awkward time for the conversation then hold off until things feel right. For the conversation to be constructive your child should be as comfortable as possible. If they are unresponsive, in a hurry, distracted, under stress or tired they will likely not get the valuable lessons out of the conversation you were hoping they would.
Lastly, if you are stumped on a question they ask you or taken off guard the best response is to acknowledge that you don’t know the answer but you promise to look up the info and get back to them soon. This validates their interest and keeps the dialog open for discussion at a later time. It also gives you the opportunity to do some research so that your answer is honest and real.
Fort Collins New Life Center notes that there should be many conversations with your child over the years about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Doing so keeps these dangers in the forefront of their mind which helps to lower their chances of using. Making yourself available to talk as well as being an example of a drug-free healthy lifestyle is the best drug and alcohol prevention you can give your children.