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Talk to Your Kids about Drugs

Talk to your Kids about Drugs; it is Essential

How to Talk to your Kids about Drugs

Dad with his son at home.
Photographer: RACOOL

The question ” How to Talk to Your Kids about Drugs” is a difficult one to answer for some parents. Schools play an important role in drug education and prevention. There are education programs within the school system that teach kids the facts about drugs and drug prevention, but schools cannot do it alone. When the kids get off the school bus, it is the parents’ turn to continue to educate and enforce rules about drugs. It can be a very scary and intimidating situation to talk to your kids about drugs, but in this day in age it is essential. Here are some basic helpful tips to begin the crucial discussion with your children from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services:

What to Say When you Talk to Your Kids About Drugs:

  • Give your child clear rules
  • Explain the reasons of your rules
  • If the rule is broken react calmly instead of yelling or threatening them harshly
  • Be firm and expect the child to obey your punishment
  • Ask your child what they already know
  • Answer your child’s questions
  • Discuss how to say “NO” to drugs with your child

Other Important Tips on How to Talk to your Kids about Drugs:

  • Have strong, loving relationships with your children
  • Be available for your kids when needed
  • Talk and listen to your children
  • Praise your kids for good behavior
  • Teach standards of right and wrong
  • Set and enforce rules for behavior
  • Provide knowledge about the risks of using drugs. Show the facts about drugs and drug abuse
  • Be a good role model
  • Learn and teach kids alternative stress coping techniques so they do not turn to drugs

When to Start to Talk with your Kids about Drugs:

The earlier you can begin to talk to your kids about drugs, the better. You just have to base the conversation on age-appropriateness. You can start with the basics and get more in depth as your child matures. Here are some reasons to talk to your kids about drugs early:

  • Many kids start using tobacco by age 11 and are addicted by age 14
  • Between ages 9 and 13, kids begin to think that using alcohol is okay
  • Some children are already abusing drugs at age 12 or 13

It may be frightening to bring up the issue, but it is a job that needs to be done, so talk to your kids about drugs.

For more information on how to talk to your kids about drugs or any of our drug prevention education programs, please visit our website.

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