April 07, 2009 —
Recently, Julie discussed some useful advice on how we can talk to our teens about cough medicine abuse. By being open with our teens about substance abuse and talking to them about the dangers of cough medicine abuse, we can set a positive example. As Julie brought up, teens are up to 50 percent less likely to abuse substances when they hear a lot about drug abuse from their parents. Furthermore, by talking to our teens as young adults, we are teaching them to respect not only others but also themselves.
However, talking to our teens is only one part of the solution. As parents, we have a distinctive opportunity to lead by example and to show our kids the importance of making positive decisions about our lives, families, and health.
One way we can be positive role models for our kids is to participate in our communities. We can show our kids that we place value on our communities and preparing for the future by volunteering or joining groups such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and a parent and teacher organization. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and it emphasizes to our teens the importance of taking care of ourselves by taking care of others. When teens are active and involved in their communities, they are less likely to abuse substances like cough medicine.
As an educator, I have come to see that parents and caregivers are children's first and most important teachers. The decisions we make each day affect our families in small and big ways, and for this reason we play a critical part in our children's development into adults. We are role models to our teens, and it is essential that we teach them to respect themselves and make healthy choices as they grow.