How to talk to your teenager about drugs

fam1Being a parent is never easy. Parenting is hard work and sometimes involves talking about things that may make you feel uncomfortable or may not know much about yourself. But when it comes to the dangers of drugs, what are the best ways to educate your child. Knowledge is power and by just talking to your teenager you may be able to prevent problems in the future. No one wants to think that the teenager may become a drug user or even worse, an addict but experimenting with illegal drugs is very common amongst teenagers. Some even see it as a rite of passage or just something that many teenagers do. With a little forethought and a little bit of knowledge you can equip your teenager to deal with influencing factors such as peer pressure and how to handle difficult situations.

When you decide that the time is right top to your teenager about drugs than arm yourself with up-to-date facts and information. Don’t wait until you suspect that there is a problem as by arming your children with knowledge and helping develop a better sense of self-respect they are less likely to get into situations that can lead to problems. The singer Madonna was once asked what she teach her daughter about boys to which she replied that she wouldn’t have to teach her anything about the opposite sex as she would teach her self-respect. Whilst this may seem extreme, there is a ring of truth about it. A little self-respect can go a long way.

Pick your time and use relevant items of news programmes of television shows to initiate a discussion about drugs. Don’t get flustered or embarrassed, try and answer your teen on a level that is age-appropriate and try not to brush off or avoid their questions. Don’t use scaremongering or similar tactics, for example if you tell them that by smoking one joint of cannabis they will be addicted forever, or die( remember this is just a broad example,) they may struggle to take you seriously as they probably know more about it already than they are letting on. They will not see you as credible or honest and are unlikely to ask your opinion or for your help and addiction advice in the future. Share with your teenager your own stance and opinion on drugs. You may have had experiences in your own teen age years  that you can draw on and be able to explain to them why drugs can be dangerous.

Remember to be realistic when dealing with the teenager and the subject of drugs. Many teenagers will try drugs, and the majority of them will be okay and only a small number will develop a problem. Ultimately the responsibility rests with them: only vacancy no but whether they do or not can be heavily influenced by what you have topped them and how you have handled the situation. If you are open, honest and approachable their new team is far more likely to feel that they are able to talk to you about any issues they may have.

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