Most parents avoid talking about drugs and alcohol with their children. Despite their concerns, they shy away from asking questions, not knowing what to say to their children.
Children naturally emulate and learn from their parents. Educating yourself about the dangers of drugs and alcohol helps provide effective talking points when the topic comes up. Sharing your own feelings as well as examples of your own life situations may help your child trust you and your guidance.
Besides talking to your children about the harmful effects of alcohol and drug abuse, here are some tips that can help you protect them.
1. Learn about substances at home that could be abused
Your medicine cabinet at home may be the easiest place your children get access to addictive substances. Keeping your prescription medications and alcohol in locked cabinets may be one easy way to keep your children away from them.
2. Set clear rules and boundaries
Many parents do not know how to set and enforce rules effectively but compassionately. Arbitrary rules can lead to confusion and disrespecting the rules. When creating a rule, make sure your child understands the rules, as well as the punishment they will receive for breaking them.
3. Take active interest in your child’s life
Start out by asking about your child’s day and make it known to them that you’re there to support them physically and mentally. Learn about their friends at school and after school. Attend your child’s extra curricular activities so that they can feel your involvement. All of these provide opportunities to learn more about what is going on in their life.
4. Set a good example
It has been shown in several studies that children learn from their parents. Behave in a way that you would like your children to behave. If you abuse alcohol or drugs at home, they will naturally assume that it is ok for them to do so. Show that you can have fun that does not involve alcohol or drugs.
If you are beginning to suspect that your child may be abusing substances or alcohol, don’t hesitate to seek help. Getting help early may help protect your child from harmful, potentially lifelong dangers of addiction to drugs and alcohol.
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