If you’re a parent, then you know eventually you’ll have to sit down with child and discuss the subject of drugs. The topic of drugs is one of the dreaded D’s of parenting and a touchy subject. As a parent you have to decide the when, what, and how of the subject.
• When do you choose to bring up the subject?
• What do you say?
• How do you stop it before it starts?
When do you choose to bring up the subject?
Talking to your toddler about drugs is probably a moot discussion, but it’s best to start early.
Older kids know more than you think, but you have to separate fact from fiction.
Teenagers probably know more about the subject of drugs than you do, but it’s still a discussion you need to have.
What do you say?
Toddlers don’t really understand the concept. You don’t want them to think all drugs are bad, so with toddlers you have to choose your words carefully. Don’t use phrases such as “it taste like candy” when giving your child OTC medicine. Young children need to know medicine doesn’t taste yummy, but they also need to know the good from the bad.
Older kids tend to learn from their peers, so you have to be on top of the game. Once your child starts school, start talking. Most schools participate in the D.A.R. E. Program, so at home talk about it, bring it out in the open, be honest, and let your child know they can talk to you.
Teenagers are smart. With so many drugs available and peer pressure, your teen may already be using and abusing drugs. Peer pressure is a parent’s number one enemy. Teens give into peer pressure and it’s your job to make sure they don’t. The talk about drugs needs to start when your child begins before your child begins high school. You will fell as if you’re talking to a brick wall, but teens really do want parental advice. If you’re a loss for words get help from other resources.
How do you stop it before it starts?
Toddles tend to stay in their own world, so drug abuse probably isn’t something serious you will have to worry about. At their age they don’t have any peer pressure, but always be aware of their surroundings and who they play with. Drugs are everywhere and your job as a parent is to keep your child safe from harm.
With your old child, be prepared. At this stage your child will begin to experience peer pressure. With easy access to prescription drugs, kids as young as nine are becoming addicted to pain medication. Always know your child’s outside environment. Make sure his or her school is pro-active in the D.A.R.E. Program.
If you have a teenager chances are they’ve already experimented with drugs. They know how to hide things form their parents. Look for warning signs. Their grades will falter, they will begin to disobey and disrespect you, glassy eyes, slurred speech, and a different group of friends are all warning signs your teen may be involved in drug abuse. Once your teen starts high school, you really have to be a proactive parent. Know who your child hangs out with. Be noisy.
Unfortunately, in today’s world your child has easier access to prescription medication, illegal drugs, and alcohol. Illegal drugs and alcohol have been placed second and prescription meds have become the forerunner for kids to abuse. As a parent, you have to be aware at all times, be prepared to discuss drug abuse with your child, and dare to take a stand against illegal drug use.