June 28, 2010 —

As the summer season quickly approaches, I’m trying to take advantage of the wonderful weather here in Ohio – it’s such a great time to get out and do things with my son. This one-on-one time with him gives me a great opportunity to talk to him in a relaxed environment about what’s going on in the last few days of the school year, his goals for the summer, and, most simply, what’s important to him. Be it attending a local festival, or going for ice cream, or having sushi for two, sharing an activity and having a meaningful conversation brings you closer and keeps vital lines of communication open.

Today, our teens face situations where they may feel the pressure to make potentially dangerous decisions, such as abusing OTC medicines. Having open lines of communication shows your teens they can trust you with anything they may be faced with, and discussing issues such as medicine abuse increases the chance that they will make the right decisions when faced with tough decisions.

Talking with your teens, especially about difficult topics like medicine abuse, can be a challenge. But by keeping yourself educated on teen trends, being a resource for your kids on a range of topics, and probing them even when they are not particularly talkative are the best ways to protect your teens. By starting these conversations, you may find out your teens have already been exposed to medicine abuse in your community. By showing you understand the issue and the dangers associated with it, your teens may be more comfortable talking about the situations they encounter. No matter what, you will need an open line of communication to make that a reality. So hit the trails, offer to take your kids and a few friends out bowling, or go to a ball game and get the conversation started.

What activities do you participate in with your teens that help get the conversation going? Share your advice with other parents at the Stop Medicine Abuse Fan page on Facebook.