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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: Develop an Action Plan to Deter Your Child from Drinking and Drugging

ear Dr. Steve:

For the second time in six months, a child from my daughter’s ninth grade class has been hospitalized in an alcohol rehab program. I know both of these children’s parents. These are good responsible parents who are bright, informed people. Selfishly, I’m less concerned about figuring out how it happened to those families than I am concerned to insure that these tragedies don’t repeat themselves with my three children. What can I do to get on top of things and keep my children as far away as possible from drugs and alcohol?

The research strongly indicates that active, supportive involvement by parents can help prevent children from using drugs and alcohol. Therefore you need to develop an action plan to ensure that your children avoid getting involved with drugs and alcohol.

Monitor Drug and Alcohol Use in Your Home
Keep track of all alcohol and prescription medications in your home. Your policy about unchaperoned parties and other gathering of your children’s friends in your home should be clearly and firmly stated. Encourage your children to invite their friends over to your house as much as you’re comfortable having them. This will enable you to know your children’s friends and the activities that your children are getting involved with.

Open the Lines of Communication with Other Parents
Get to know the parents of your children’s friends. Establish a relationship of mutual concern and cooperation. Commit to keeping the lines of communication open. Develop a level of comfort for sharing concerns you may have about each of your’s children’s behavior.

Know What Your Child is Doing
Know what your child is doing and whom they’re doing it with. As you keep track of your children’s activities, do so in the spirit of being a loving, responsible parent rather than a paranoid, mistrusting tyrant. This will help your child to be more open with you and allow your relationship to be less adversarial.

Establish Family Rules About Drinking and Drugging
Establish clear no drinking and drugging rules. Examples of these rules are:
1.) Children will not drink alcohol until they’re 21
2.) Older siblings will not encourage underage siblings to drink or drug and will not provide drugs or alcohol to younger siblings.
3.) Kids will not stay at teen parties where alcohol and drugs are present.
4.) Kids will not drive in a car where the driver is under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Rules are meaningless without the establishment and enactment of appropriate consequences. Do not establish any consequence that you’re unwilling to carry out. On the other hand, the consequences should not be so severe that they create a barrier between you and your child. The idea of a consequence is that the penalty should be enough to make your child think twice about breaking the rule. The last pointer about consequences is that they should be enforced consistently, not selectively.

Set a Good Example
You are your children’s most important role model. Studies indicate that children whose parents drink are more likely to drink themselves. If you do drink, 1.) Drink moderately, 2.) Do not communicate that drinking is a good way to handle problems, 3.) Let your child see that you have other ways than drinking to cope with stress, 4.) Don’t glamorize the use of alcohol and other drugs to your kids, and 5.) Never drink or drive.

Don’t Support Teen Drinking or Drugging
Be mindful of your attitudes towards drinking and drugging and the impact that they may have on your children. Avoid making jokes about underage drinking and drugging. Don’t in anyway condone the use of alcohol and other drugs for teenagers. There is no occasion where it is appropriate to provide alcohol and other drugs to your child or your child’s friends.

Help Your Children Develop Healthy Friendships
If your children’s friends use alcohol, they are more likely to do so as well. Encourage your children to make friends with those individuals who will have a healthy influence on your children. Include your children’s friends in family gatherings. Encourage your child to spend more time with those who are safest to associate with. Discuss with your child what friendship is, what qualities make a good friend, what qualities make a bad friend. Emphasize qualities such as trustworthiness, kindness, respectful as the type of qualities that make a good friend.

Encourage Healthy Alternatives to Alcohol and Drugs
Involvement with activities that are challenging and fun is important to your children’s emotional and physical well-being. Some studies of pre-teens indicate that availability of enjoyable alcohol free activities is one reason for deciding not to use alcohol. Encourage your children to get involved in school or religious sponsored activities.

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, Psy.D.



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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