Dealing with Back to School…
Back to school can be a fun and exciting time of year for your teen… But it can also mean increased anxiety and social pressure. These uncomfortable feelings can lead your teen to engage in risky behaviors, like drug and alcohol use. Help make this school year successful — before the sports games, the homecoming dances, and the after-school activities begin, talk with your teen about risky behavior.
Be there for them…. It can make all the difference
Talking to your child about drugs and alcohol doesn’t mean lecturing. In fact, there are many things you can do (or may already do!) to provide the type of environment that may keep your child from experimenting with drugs or alcohol. One is to spend more time with your child. A national survey about the importance of family dinners revealed that 18 percent of teens said they would like to spend more time with their parents.
Family dinners are an excellent way to spend time with them. And make no mistake—those family dinners matter. Teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week are almost 4X as likely to have used tobacco, more than 2X as likely to have used alcohol, and 2.5X times as likely to have used marijuana. Imagine! Simply spending time with your children may make them less likely to try drugs or alcohol.
Being there for your child—day or night—is also helpful. A child who feels you are available will be more likely to come to you with questions about drugs, or challenges with peer pressure or other situations that make them feel uncomfortable. It is especially important to be there during times of transition, such as changing schools, moving, or divorce, because the risk of drug use increases greatly during these times. They will be exposed to cigarettes and alcohol—if they haven’t been already— and friends may encourage them to try new things. In high school, they will face a larger variety of substances and have more of a desire to fit in or seem “cool” to their classmates (Source: DEA).
– Talk About It –
It is always a good time to talk with your teen about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Open (and maintain) the lines of communication, and be your child’s trusted source of information. Listen to them without judgement, and show them that your support and love are unconditional. Contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to encourage drug-free behavior and guide good choices.