These days, young children are exposed to conflicting messages about drugs and alcohol from an early age. In some cases, drugs and alcohol are glorified as being fun and exciting, while at other times, they are condemned for being unhealthy and dangerous. Children are remarkably impressionable, especially when they are young, so you want to ensure that your little one takes away the right message about substance abuse. Here’s how to help your kids understand the possible dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Throughout your daily lives, look for opportunities to educate your children about drugs and alcohol. It is better that they learn the facts from you than to pick up misinformation from advertisements or their peers. Be open and honest with your kids about both the positive and negative aspects. The more they know, the better equipped they will be to make good decisions later in life. If someone in your family has an addiction to drugs and alcohol, explain what is happening in an honest healthy way.
Reinforce Healthy Habits
Your kids look to you for guidance as to how to live their lives, so do your best to set a good example. Show your kids how important it is to eat healthy foods and get regular exercise. If you like to have a glass of wine with dinner, or you drink beer, that’s fine, but make sure that your kids know that if they do choose to drink when they are older, they should do it in moderation.
Show Compassion and Understanding
It is not just the youngest children you need to educate, but your older kids as well. Teenagers are not known for their strong decision-making skills, and many choose to experiment with drugs and alcohol as part of growing up and learning about who they are as people. If you suspect that your teen is using drugs or alcohol, resist the urge to yell or punish them. Instead, be understanding, and show them that you are there for them when they want to talk about it. Your support is incredibly important during these formative years.
Experimentation is a part of growing up, but some teens take it too far. If you are worried that your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, it may be time to step in. Here at My 12 Step Store, we have the tools you need to promote healthy discussion and guide your teen towards sobriety. Browse through our selection today to find what you need.