Once upon a time, you could probably wait until your child’s teenage years to have the drug and alcohol talk with them. Nowadays if you don’t have that talk at a much younger age your child risks being an addict by their teenage years.
How Young Is Too Young For The Talk
Even from a fairly young age you can start working the drug and alcohol in with your children. There are some suggestions that say talks can start as young as 3 to 5. At this age you want to stay on the positive side of things.
Talk to your preschooler or kindergartner about how important it is to be healthy, eat healthy and avoid things that are poisonous or dangerous. Give them examples by showing them labels on dangerous items, even warning labels on cigarettes.
Once your child enters regular all day schooling it’s time to get more serious about your talks. Let them know how you feel about drugs and alcohol, and even cigarettes. Explain to them the health hazards of these things.
As they get older peer pressure will become an issue, so it’s important that you talk to them before their friends do. One survey showed that by age 15, 62 percent of those surveyed had had a drink.
How To Talk To Them
Once your child is at the age that you really need to get serious about the drug and alcohol talks you need to have a plan of attack. You need to be ready to have a comeback when they say that everyone else is doing it, or just because someone else got addicted doesn’t mean they will.
Don’t just talk to them about it, set rules as well and stand by them. If you said you would ground them for a month if they were caught with cigarettes and they are caught with cigarettes don’t give them time off for good behavior. This only teaches them they can get away with breaking your rules.
Let them be a part of the conversation so they can feel as though you are having a conversation with them and not just telling them what to do. You’ll find that when you even the playing field a little bit your child may respond more positively.
Ask them what they know about drugs and alcohol. What they think about them and how they affect people’s health and the way they act,
You can also find a drug rehab facility that specializes in teens and find out if they have any classes or presentations that you can take your child to where they can see how drugs affect teens. This type of hands on approach can sometimes be the key to keeping your kids clean.