Teaching our kids to abstain from using or abusing substances can be quite a challenge in a world slathered in drugs and violence. The media, video games, and even cartoons are all guilty of perpetuating the cycle of substance abuse. Raising children to efficiently differentiate the real world and television is not the most simple of tasks. Take a look at a few suggestions that may help to keep your kids off of drugs.
Keep an opened line of communication.
As a parent, it is critical to nurture an opened line of communication with your children at all times. They should be able to talk comfortably about any topic within their family unit. When the kids go out with their friends, their plans and intentions should be transparent. Monitoring a child’s lifestyle is not a free pass to suffocate them with rules and regulations. Moderation is key.
Acknowledge and reward kids for their efforts.
It is important to adolescents that they feel seen and appreciated for their efforts. The years spent dealing with puberty and social relationships in school are turbulent in the eyes of a teenager. Parents should be empathetic to the developmental challenges of their children. Issues that seem frivolous as an adult were once much more troubling.
Keep the kids busy.
Keeping kids engaged in extracurricular activities is a smart choice. Kids that are involved in sports and after school clubs are much less likely to be faced with harsh environmental temptations such as drugs and alcohol.
Do not be mistaken and believe that school is the safest place for kids. Drug use affects kids as young as elementary age. There are plenty of drugs available to school-aged children, but sporting programs and niche focused clubs can build a valuable support group around each child that will offer positive influence and accountability.
Regulate time spent unsupervised.
If the kids are going out to see a movie, there need to be some administrative boundaries in place. Either they need to bring another trustworthy adult along for the ride, or they need to be dropped off at the theater and picked up promptly after the movie ends. Now, there will always be a way for our kids to weasel out of responsible behavior, but we have to trust our children to some extent. Showing that you doubt your child will perpetuate an attitude of resentment in a child.
Be the change you wish to see.
Most importantly, we have to be the example for our children. If you have a personal drug or alcohol addiction, it is crucial that you seek treatment. Generational addiction is a real problem. Our kids follow in our footsteps, so we should make them meaningful and sober.