While no parent wants or even expects their teen to have issues with drug abuse, this is a reality that many teens and parents have to face together at one point or another. Because these issues can be so hard to deal with, it’s ideal for you as the parent to begin speaking with your children about drug use and abuse from an early age.
To help you know how best to broach this topic and speak about this sensitive issue with your teen, here are three tips for talking with your teen about drug abuse.
Start By Asking Questions
One of the best ways to begin having a conversation about drug use and abuse with your teen is to find out where they are with their knowledge of drugs as well as with their opinions on drug use.
According to DrugFree.org, a great place to start is by asking your teen what would happen if they started using illegal drugs. Invite them to consider the type of impact this might have on their life and their future. With these answers, you’ll be able to see not only how much your teen knows about drugs and the potential negative consequences of using them, but you’ll also be able to learn what he or she values and what could be a great reason to not use drugs in their teen years.
Set Clear Rules and Expectations
Once you’ve had your initial discussion about drugs and what some of the natural negative consequences could be from illegal drug use, you should then turn the conversation to what you as a parent expect from your teen and what rules your teen will be required to follow while under your care.
According to Samantha Parent Walravens, a contributor to the Huffington Post, although many parents don’t think that their teens will care or respect the rules they lay out for them regarding their behavior, teens who know that their parents disapprove of drug use are actually less likely to participate in this behavior. On the other hand, if you aren’t clear with your rules and expectations, your teen might be able to more easily justify these dangerous behaviors.
Keep The Conversation Going
Speaking with your teen about drug use and abuse shouldn’t be a conversation that happens just once. To be more beneficial, Rae Jacobson, a contributor to the Child Mind Institute, recommends that you keep the conversation going all throughout their teenage years and beyond.
By keeping these lines of communication open, you’ll help your teen learn how to deal with new situations and circumstances as they arise and will be viewed by your teen as someone they can come to when they have questions or concerns.
To help protect your teen from the hazards of illegal drug use, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how to talk about these issues together.