If you are the parent of a child of any age, particular teenagers and preteens, you are probably concerned about drugs. And you should be. Drugs are rampant today. You can’t read a newspaper or watch a local TV newscast without seeing and hearing stories involving arrests for possession or selling of drugs, or crimes committed by people who were drug users.
Drugs are on school campuses from elementary school to college. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it isn’t happening in your child’s school. So, what can you do to help prevent your child from having problems with drugs? Active Parenting Publishers, which offers many great publications on parenting, has a poster with the following ten roles parents can play in preventing problems with drugs, sexuality, and violence. Please visit their site. They offer many great books and other tools for parents, kids, and teachers.
1. PARENTS AS ROLE MODELS Be a positive role model. Children learn best by example.
2. PARENTS AS EDUCATORS AND INFORMATION RESOURCES Be informed about drugs, sexuality and violence–and talk with your child.
3. PARENTS AS POLICY-MAKERS AND RULE-SETTERS Make rules–for example, “No use of illegal drugs by anyone in the family, and no use of alcohol or nicotine by anyone under the legal age”–and enforce them.
4. PARENTS AS STIMULATORS Encourage your child to take part in hobbies, school activities and sports. Get involved. Play fun family activities.
5. PARENTS AS CONSULTANTS AND EDUCATORS ON PEER PRESSURE “Just say no” is easier said than done. Teach your child to resist peer pressure without feeling foolish.
6. PARENTS AS MONITORS & SUPERVISORS Set and enforce curfews; know where your children are.
7. PARENTS AS COLLABORATORS WITH OTHER PARENTS Join with other parents to gain support and new ideas. There’s strength in numbers.
8. PARENTS AS IDENTIFIERS & CONFRONTERS Know how to identify drug use and other problems and confront your child when necessary.
9. PARENTS AS MANAGERS OF CHILDREN’S HEALTH Don’t delay–seek medical help if you suspect your child is engaged in unhealthy behavior. Trust your instincts!
10. PARENTS AS MANAGERS OF THEIR OWN FEELINGS Don’t blow up; don’t give up. You’re not guilty.