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Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at
(847) 498-5611.

Recover from chemical dependency and its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series.

How to Prevent Your Child from Drinking and Drugging: Skills for Talking to Children About Drugs and Alcohol: Part 3

ear Dr. Steve:

I can’t put this off any longer. I know that I have to talk to my kids about drugs and alcohol but I don’t know how to best go about it. I keep promising my wife that I’ll talk to them, but to tell you the truth I don’t know where to start. I think part of the problem is that I just don’t feel confident about being able to communicate all that they need to know. Can you offer me any advice?

Many parents feel awkward speaking to their children about drugs and alcohol. Parents tell me that they feel intimidated by the amount of information they need to know. Many parents feel impotent attempting to break through the barriers that their children have erected. Other parents tell me that their children immediately become defensive and refuse to participate in any discussion about drugs and alcohol. Other parents wrestle with their own self-consciousness about having a frank discussion with their children. Still others have their own checkered past with drugs and alcohol. They believe that nothing that they say to their children will matter because nothing that their parents said to them about drugs and alcohol mattered to them.

Like anything else, a little courage, mixed with a little determination, mixed with a little patience, mixed with a little love, mixed with a little understanding can eventually overcome even the largest of obstacles. Let me suggest the following pointers. Keep them in mind as you try to teach your children some of the most important lessons that you’ll ever have to offer them.

1.) Recognize that you can make a difference.
2.) Don’t be intimidated by the subject of drugs.
3.) Don't be put off by your children's reluctance to talk about drugs.
4.) Learn enough about drugs and their effects to satisfy your own needs and to discuss them credibly with your children.
5.) Create a safe atmosphere in which to conduct your discussions with your children by
being accepting, consistent, and maintaining your sense of humor. Don't be sarcastic.
6.) Be honest in your communication with your children. Treat one another with respect.
7.) Be clear in what you say.
8.) Don’t be sidetracked by distractions.
9.) Encourage your children to talk about what they think and feel.
10.) Express yourself in I-messages: Tell them how you feel about an action or event, rather than criticizing them directly for causing it.
11.) Try not to make assumptions or accusations.
12.) Actively listen to them and respond by telling them what you have heard them say and feel.
13.) Set aside fifteen minutes every day to focus exclusively on each of your children.

This is the time when your children need you most. Don’t be overwhelmed by the task that lies ahead. Be confident. Trust your instincts.   Lower your expectations. Stick with it. Your children need someone to talk to. People to believe in and people who believe in them. As much as they rebel against them, they need rules to live by. You are best and most qualified source to fulfill those needs.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
1.) Read Dr. Steve Frisch’s, Psy.D. series of Recovery books, From Insanity to Serenity. These books focus on chemical dependency, how to raise alcohol and other drugs free children, and Recovery for both the chemically dependent individual and their friends and family members.
2.) Read Fact Sheets about How to Raise an Alcohol and Drug-Free Child
3.) Read Fact Sheets about Information About Alcohol and Other Drugs
4.) Read the Fact Sheet, Referrals
5.) Read Fact Sheet, Warning Signs of Alcohol and Other Drugs Abuse
6.) Read Entering the World of Your Child: How to Nurture Your Child’s Spirit by Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.
7.) Read A Parent’s Guide for Protecting Their Children From Alcohol and Other Drugs by Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.
8.) Read But I’m Not The One With the Problem: How to Cope With a Loved One Who Abuses Alcohol and Other Drugs, by Dr. Steve Frisch,



Recover from chemical dependency and its toxic impact on family members. Raise your children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs free. Learn how to in Dr. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series—From Insanity to Serenity.

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