How To Communicate With Your Adolescent About Drugs & Alcohol
Every adolescent will be exposed to drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives and research has shown that exposure and usage is occurring at a young age more than ever before. Encouraging your child to avoid the temptation and peer pressure associated with drugs and alcohol can sometimes be the difference between life and death.
Here are some suggestions on how to approach this very important issue:
- Research the effects of drugs and alcohol. Before you can educate your child, you’ll need to know the facts yourself. Be mindful when discussing this with your child that you are using language that they can understand and relate to. Make sure to allow them time to ask questions and avoid lecturing.
- If your child is not willing to engage with you at this time, direct them to a website, article, or book that discusses the danger of drugs and alcohol use.
- Open the lines of communication with your child. Having an open relationship without judgment or shame can often be the most successful way to help them avoid temptations or peer pressure.
- Be aware of your child’s activities and who their friends are. This is especially important today with the constant and growing social media.
- Reinforce your stance against drugs and alcohol on a consistent basis. To best encourage your child to avoid drugs and alcohol, you need to make it an ongoing discussion instead of a one time conversation.
Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.