It can be hard as a parent to find that line between being involved in your child’s life but not becoming a helicopter parent. Parents, though, have a huge impact on their child’s decision to try drugs or alcohol. Eventually, the choice will fall on the child alone, but if you are a positive role model and give the appropriate advice, it can influence the choice they make.
Research shows that parents are typically the most influential people in the life of their child, though many parents don’t believe this is so. In fact, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse did a study that shows the main reason high school students don’t use drugs or drink is because their parents would not approve. Whether they admit it or not, teenagers long for the respect of their parents. If you ever attended substance abuse rehab, be honest with them about the struggles you faced.
There are many ways parents can help their children stay away from drugs. Most importantly, parents need to be a positive role model in their child’s life. Teenagers mimic what they see you do. If you drink while your children are around, do so moderately and explain to them the importance of abstaining from alcohol at an early age.
Most children don’t like being lectured or told what to do. Allow your child to give input into your conversation when you discuss drugs and alcohol. Listen to their questions and ask them how they view drugs and alcohol. These conversations should start at a young age.
When talking about drug and alcohol use, never talk to your teenager like they are a child. If you’re talking with a young child, don’t give them too many facts. These conversations can be difficult, but below are some tips to help:
Parents can have a major influence on their child’s view of drugs and alcohol. Take advantage of your position in your child’s life to persuade them away from the addictive lifestyle. If you need help talking with your child about drug and alcohol use, contact us at Coastline Behavioral Health for resources.