Talking to kids about Drugs
Speaking to children about drugs is as simple as speaking to them about everything. If parents are connecting to their children regularly anyway, then asking them what they know about drugs should be easy. The only time it is difficult to discuss these heavy matters is when you have been avoiding the deep subjects of life altogether.
Make a special date specifically to speak with your children on these topics. Take them out for people watching, or any time together away from the home for less distractions. Being a disciplinarian is not our only parental role. Being a mentor to our young people will keep the doors of communication open, which is important because the topic of drug use should come from parents not from the outside world.
When children feel heard, and when they know their opinion is respected, you will get their input. Once you discover what they know about drugs, and where they heard it, it is simple to get the facts straight together. If you really do not know the truth about drugs, there is a vast amount of reliable resources readily accessible for all of us. There are websites, documentaries, and even 24 hour hotlines for those wanting to know the truth or who need help.
Being proactive, rather than hoping drugs will not effect our families is the empowering way to go. Kids are more influenced by peers, and sorry to say not their family. Our biggest duty is to keep the lines of communication open, and seek time to talk often. Avoid interrogation, and try asking your kids questions all about them. At the appropriate times, when discussions do get serious, like drugs use, your kids will be much more attentive and curious. Allow them the opportunity to ask questions to you rather than their friends. Tell your children daily "You can always talk to me." It may seem that it goes in one ear and out the other, but it will be hard wired that you are their solution for some of the answers they seek. So be available and make time to talk to your children. You will make a beautiful memory for both of you when you give them individual time to talk about life.
Information service from SAMHSA is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Holly Davis, CPCI