Discouraging irresponsible drug use is an important part of being a parent. Abusing drugs, even legally prescribed ones, can lead to addiction and may permanently affect the child’s life. Opening up lines of communication early on is a great way to promote honest conversations about drug use throughout childhood and teenage years.
- Embrace Natural Conversation Starters
If unsure about how to approach the conversation, look for ways to bring it up naturally. Billboards, commercials and television shows may show someone using drugs, drinking or smoking. This can be a great chance to start talking about how the family views such actions.
- Talk About Consequences
Letting children know that abusing drugs can lead to a lot of trouble. Their brain and body functions may be permanently changed. They may lose the trust of their friends and family members, be unable to get a job or drive away potential romantic partners. They could also be arrested by the police and go to jail, requiring the need for Warren County bail bonds, court cases and possible jail time.
- Research Effects of Drug Use
There are many types of drugs available, from heroin to methamphetamines, and they all have different effects on the human body. If the child has questions about a specific type of drug, they should be informed about what it does and how addictive it is. If the parent is unfamiliar with the effects, they can admit that they are not sure and research the drug with their child so they can learn about it together. That can be a great opportunity to show the child how to find reputable sources of information online.
- Be Honest
Talking to children about drug use may make some parents feel uncomfortable, especially if they have tried drugs in the past or use them currently. Children are not stupid and may sense if a parent is being dishonest. They may find out later that they were lied to and feel upset, which can damage their relationship with their parents. Parents can use their experiences as examples and talk about their expectations for the child. If they overcame an addiction, they can talk about the difficulties they experienced and how it affected their life.
Children are naturally curious about the world around them, and it is important that they are presented with information from trusted sources. Discussing things like drug use is a good first step in encouraging the child to make good decisions throughout their life.