Research shows parents are still the #1 influence on teens’ decision making.
Start talking to your kids about alcohol and drugs early and often. Even if it doesn’t always seem like it, they really do hear you!
Don’t know what to say? Try these questions to get the conversation started:
- “What’s the hardest thing you deal with when it comes to just being yourself around your friends?”
- “If you go somewhere and other kids your age are using cannabis, what will you do or say?”
- “If someone you really liked or respected wanted to try a drug, how would you handle that?”
- “You know, if you ever have a question about cannabis or other drugs, you can count on me to listen and help you find the answer. What have you been wondering about?”
- Show you disapprove of underage drinking/using drugs.
- Show you care about their happiness and well-being.
- Show you are a good source of information if they have questions.
- Show you are paying attention and will notice if they drink or use drugs.
Build their skills to avoid unhealthy choices. Help them practice funny or real ways to say “no”.
You can check out these websites for more info:
- ParentUP Vermont parentupvt.org
- Partnership for Drug Free Kids-Marijuana Talk Kit drugfree.org/article/how-to-talk-about-marijuana/
- ParentFurther (Search Institute) Parentfurther.com
Don’t worry. You don’t have to get everything across in one talk. Many small talks can be even better – keep it low-key. Look for “windows of opportunity” like when something relevant comes up on TV or you pass some advertising while they are stuck in a car with you!