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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 drfrisch@aliveandwellnews.com  or at
(847) 604-3290.

Recover from 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. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series.

Facts About…
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.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
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 bring about.
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 feel.
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.

Facts About…
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.

Pathfinder’s Checklist
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.

4.) Learn: 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.

5.) Educate: 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 consistent.

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 drink—or drinking less than they would
have—is 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 techniques.

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.



Recover from 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. Frisch’s, Psy.D. Recovery book series—From Insanity to Serenity.

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