June 17, 2009 —

Knowing what can put your teen at risk is the first step in keeping OTC cough medicine abuse from even being a consideration. I recently came across a MedicineNet.com article that included general risk factors for teen drug abuse that I wanted to share with the Five Moms readers. The tips outlined in this article serve as a good reminder for why parental involvement is so important in teens' daily routines, despite the fact that they may be asking for increased independence.

Low Parental Supervision

There are many ways to let your teens know that you are thinking of them. Leave them notes, or call or text message them to check in and see how their day is going. Keep in contact with the parents of their friends and build relationships with their immediate peers. All of these actions will let your child know that you are still active in their daily lives even though you respect their need for more independence from Mom and Dad.

Inconsistent Discipline

Discipline is certainly an important part of running a household and teaching children to be responsible adults. Many parents struggle with discipline during the teenage years and may even become more lax with the rules as teens graduation. However, consistent discipline is as important during this time as any.

One way to help manage discipline is by creating a list of rules for your teens to follow at all times. This way, there can be no dispute about what is allowed and what isn't, or what the consequences will be. Check out Blaise's article on setting rules for your teens for some ideas on how to approach this topic with your children.

Learning Together

Engaging in open and honest dialogue is always a great way to approach the topic of cough medicine abuse with your kids. An excellent way to learn together is to visit the Stop Medicine Abuse web site.  You and your teens also can join us on the Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook Fan page for updates on articles and new information related to cough medicine abuse.