Parenting Skills For Raising
Alcohol and Other Drugs Free Children
Below are some skills
that can help you talk to your kids about drugs. The ideas are simple, but it takes time,
energy and practice to make them part of your daily life. Review the ideas and decide how
to make the most of them in your home with your family. Many of the suggestions presented
may be ideas you have thought of or experienced at one time or another. They can make a
difference! These skills, together with your instincts, can help you to communicate with
your children with more confidence and satisfaction. As children, we all needed someone to
talk to, people to trust, and rules to live by. Our children's needs may be even greater
than other generations - the family is the best source to fulfill these needs and to keep
our children healthy.
Skills for talking to your children about alcohol and other drugs.
1.) Remember how it
felt to be young and keep the experience fresh in your memory.
2.) Determine how you feel about your family right now, and what changes you would like to
3.) Learn enough about drugs and their effects to satisfy your own needs and to discuss
them credibly with your children.
4.) Encourage them to talk about what they think and feel.
5.) Set aside ten minutes every day to focus on your children.
6.) Actively listen to them and respond by telling them what you have heard them say and
7.) Tell your children your reasons for making decisions that affect them.
8.) Express yourself in I-messages: Tell them how you feel about an action or
event, rather than criticizing them directly for causing it.
9.) Be honest in your communication with your children. Treat one another with respect.
10.) Be clear in what you say. Don't compete with distractions. Deal with the present.
11.) Be accepting. Be consistent. Keep your sense of humor.
12.) Try not to make assumptions or accusations. Don't be sarcastic with children.
13.) Encourage your children to not feel guilty.
14.) Try not to blame yourself for your children's actions.
15.) Try not to be intimidated by the subject of drugs. Don't be put off by your
children's reluctance to talk about drugs.
16.) Recognize that you can make a difference.
Tips for How to Raise an Alcohol and
Other Drug Free Kid
As a parent, YOU
MATTER. According to the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study by the Partnership for
a Drug-Free America, while 1 in 13 sixth graders have smoked marijuana, that number jumps
to 1 in 5 in seventh grade. Transitioning from elementary school to middle school/junior
high can be a scary time for adolescents, who face a new environment and the difficult
challenge of fitting in.
Tips to ensure that your children remain drug-free.
1.) Start: It
is never too early to prevent your child from trying drugs. Building protective factors,
such as letting your child know you care, plays an important role in protecting even the
youngest children from drugs.
2.) Connect: Take every opportunity to build lines of communication with your
children. Do things as a family. Spend time together - eat dinner as a family, read
together, play a game, attend religious services. Show that fun doesn't involve drugs.
3.) Listen: Take an active interest in what is going on in your child's life.
Listen to their cares and concern. Know what they are up to - what parties they are going
to, with whom, and what will be served or available.
Children today are sophisticated. In order to educate your child about the danger of
drugs, you need to educate yourself first. In many cases, you and your child can learn
side by side. Sit down together and lean about the risks drugs pose.
Spend at least thirty minutes with your kids every month explaining, with simple facts,
how drugs and alcohol can hurt youngsters and destroy their dreams.
6.) Care: Spend
at least a few minutes each day telling and showing your children that you care. Make sure
they know you care that they are drug-free. Explain to you child that you will always be
there for them - no matter what happens. Make sure they know to come to you first for help
or information. The extended family plays a major role in influencing a child's life.
7.) Be Aware:
Look for the warning signs that your child may be developing a substance-abuse problem and
get help before the problem occurs. Your pediatrician can help.
8.) Set Limits:
By setting limits on what is acceptable behavior, you show your children you care and help
guide them to a safer, drug-free future. Declare limits: "This family doesn't do
drugs. This family doesn't hang around people who do drugs." Enforce these limits. In
you say no to drugs or not drinking and driving, the rule applies to parent, too. Be
9.) Get Involved:
Effective prevention extends beyond the home into the community. Get involved in your
community. Ensure that your community's streets, playgrounds, and schools are safe and
drug-free. Start or join a community watch group or community anti-drug coalition. Become
active in the PTA. Get involved in your church, synagogue, or faith.
10) Lead: Young
people are as aware of what you do as much as what you say.
11.) Don't just say the right things; do the right things. Set a good example. If
you, yourself, have a substance abuse problem, get help.
12.) Do a family
history to determine whether your family has shown signs of alcoholism or other addiction.
If so, your children are especially vulnerable. Let them know they can take steps such as
abstaining from substances that cause addiction.
13.) Evaluate your
own use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. If you walk in the door at night and grab a
beer, or light up a cigarette every time you get tense, what are you conveying to your
child about how to cope with life and its stresses?
14.) Foster strong
family bonds to help counter powerful peer influences. If kids have a sense of
belonging within their own families, they will be less likely to seek it elsewhere.
15.) Set clear
expectations for behavior. In a major survey, thousands of teens reported that their
biggest reason for choosing not to drinkor drinking less than they would
haveis that their parents would be upset by it.
16.) Let your kids
know they can talk to you about anything, without harsh judgment or lectures. And be
on the look-out for teachable moments, like when your child raises the subject of
drugs, or when an anti-drug commercial comes on TV.
17.) Expose your
children to activities like sports, art, music, reading, or drama, so that they develop
avid interests. When kids are bored, they are more likely to experiment.
18.) Help your
child feel a part of his or her school. Go to school functions with your child
whenever you can. Research shows that children who feel bonded with their school are less
likely to use substances.
19.) Teach your
child to make independent decisions. Allow your kids to make some of their own
decisions, so that, when faced with offers of drugs or alcohol, they can resist pressure.
20.) Teach your
child to cope with frustration and stress. When your child is upset, help him or her
to learn ways to feel better -- like talking about it, taking a walk, or relaxation
21.) Teach your
child to be skeptical of sales pitches. Whether watching commercials or passing a
billboard advertising cigarettes or alcohol, help your child discern between the
salesperson's interest and his or her own.
chemical dependency as well as its toxic impact on family members. Raise your
children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs
free. Learn how
to in Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. Recovery book seriesFrom Insanity to Serenity.