Talking with kids about drugs Do not put off talking with your kids about drug use. We, as parents may feel afraid that talking to our children about illegal drugs may promote them using them. Research shows that the opposite is true. As early as 4th grade our kids worry about the peer pressure to try drugs. Talking freely, openly and listening to what our kids say, shows our children that they mean a great deal to us. Here are some tips about what to say and how we can go about saying it.
What do you say?
Begin by telling them that you love them and want them to be healthy and happy.
Many parents never state the simple principle and just say that they do not find illegal drug use to be acceptable behavior.
Explain how drug use can hurt them: slowed growth, impaired coordination, accidents, difficulty remembering and paying attention.
Discuss the legal ramifications of illegal drug use: losing a job, losing a driver’s license, difficulty getting into college or getting a loan for school or a car.
How do we talk about drug use?
We should talk calmly and openly-do not exaggerate as the facts can speak for themselves.
Face-to-face-exchange information and listen to their point of view.
Talk to them through teachable moments- not in a lecture format where it will be easy for them to tune you out. (Use the television, newspapers, and real life situations)
Remember that you set an example and try to avoid contradictions between your words and your actions.
How can I tell if your child is using drugs?
Change in moods-more irritable, secretive, withdrawn, overly sensitive, inappropriately angry, and euphoric. They may become less responsible, late coming home, dishonest.
Changing friends or changing lifestyles-new interests, unexplained money
Physical deterioration- difficulty in concentration, loss of coordination, loss of weight, unhealthy appearance.