Three Tips for Having the Substance Abuse Talk with Your Child

Feel confident about talking with your child about drugs and alcohol.

Having the substance abuse talk with your kids is an important milestone as they grow older and start to make decisions on their own. Making sure your kids know about drugs and alcohol and feel like they can talk to you about them is important as they enter their teenage years. Here are three tips to make this chat less awkward and more effective.

Set a positive tone
When sitting down to talk, it is important that you have a positive tone, otherwise kids may not take you seriously. This conversation shouldn’t feel like a lecture, and your child should feel comfortable asking you questions. When the drugs and alcohol talk is a conversation, your kids will feel more comfortable being honest with you in the future.

Model healthy living
Kids want to be just like their role models, so this means they want to be just like you. If you talk with your child about alcohol but then binge drink or drink alcohol to manage stress, you may confuse them. Modeling good behavior around drugs and alcohol and setting rules as a household lets your kids know what responsible drinking looks like as an adult.

Ongoing conversation
Talking to your child about this before they leave for a friend’s house or before heading to school for the day can add to their stress and cause drama. Try starting this conversation while eating dinner as a family or whenever it feels natural. You should chat with them about it a few times and not just once. Such an important talk shouldn’t be a one and done topic.

A study claims that teens are 50% less likely to use drugs and alcohol if they have talked about it with their parents. Give your child the toolbox they need to make smart decisions as they grow older.

No matter which way you decide to talk with your kids, the most important thing is that you decide to have the talk.

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