by Yoga Digest | September 20, 2019 2:34 am
Have you ever literally dreaded having a conversation with your child? For most parents, the “don’t do drugs ” talk is right at the top of the list. When it comes to discussing drug use with your child, it can often feel like the topic is almost too delicate to discuss. However, the stigma surrounding this issue doesn’t have to cloud the conversation or cramp your parenting style.
In fact, with some preparation, you may find that discussing drugs with your children can allow you to safely, accurately, and calmly give them all the information needed to have the appropriate knowledge and understanding of the issue. Honest communication can reassure your children that drugs are something they can talk to you about in an open and constructive way.
Know the Facts
The most important factor in preparing for a conversation about drugs with your children is to have a full awareness and understanding of the basic facts. When it comes to parenting in general, arming yourself with facts is crucial, and this is certainly the case when you discuss the serious issue of drug use with your kids.
So, what facts should you know? Well, first, you might want to familiarize yourself with the substantial increase in vaping among youth in 2018 as well as the rise in opioid overdoses. With older children, it can also be very helpful to take note of the signs of drug use, such as a decline in academic performance, secretive behavior, isolation, and deteriorating hygiene and physical appearance. While none of these signs absolutely confirms drug use, they can nonetheless be helpful indicators of an issue.
Take Age into Account
As with many other challenges in the parenting arena, how you discuss drug use should depend heavily on your child’s age. With children seven or younger, this conversation can be as simple as giving them a basic description of what drugs are, how they can harm them, and the negative impact they can have.
For kids older than seven (but not in their teens), this topic can be a little more challenging, but it still doesn’t have to be worrisome. In this age range, it can be very helpful to get input from your children on their own views of the matter, gauge awareness, and answer any questions they might have in a straightforward manner.
Now teenagers can be an entirely different story. Here, it’s important to try to maintain an honest conversational tone and to reassure your children that they can speak truthfully to you about past or present experiences and opinions. If after your conversation, you still have concerns or feel your children are exhibiting signs of drug use, beginning a regular drug testing routine in your home can boost the accountability factor. Administering a simple home hair drug test, like found at local CVS Pharmacies, once every 3-4 months will allow you to see your children’s last 90 days of drug history and give you peace of mind.
Setting the Right Tone
Regardless of your children’s age or personal circumstances, it will always be crucial to set the right tone when you begin the drug conversation.
As a parent, it’s essential to remain calm and level-headed, especially if your children admit to drug use and needs your help. Reacting too severely or emotionally can send the message that this is an unapproachable topic with you. Parents who set a calm, reasonable tone of trust during these tough conversations have a better chance of steering their children clear of drug use and addiction.
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