September 26, 2007 —
Since the Partnership for A Drug-Free America recently came out with data that indicated a decrease in parent/teen discussions about drugs, we've been stressing how important it is to take time to talk with your kids.
I found a new guide from the Drug-Free America Foundation that I think you might find useful. Some of their advice includes:
Start early As a parent, take the opportunity to talk to your children first, before they hear and receive mixed messages from their peers.
Initiate conversations with your children Speak clearly to your children and use vocabulary that they will be able to understand. Wait for a window of opportunity to initiate a conversation; try not to interrupt your children when they are doing something that they consider important. Use a tactful approach.
Provide age-appropriate information Make sure the information you offer your children fits their age or developmental stage.
Look for teachable moments Take the opportunity to discuss current events relating to drugs and other issues to initiate conversations.
Create an open environment Foster an atmosphere in which your child can ask you questions on any subject without the fear of consequences.
Communicate your values Don't give textbook answers to questions. Explain to your child how you feel about drugs.