Parenting Tips for Prevention

Recent studies have shown that the older a person is when they first use drugs or alcohol, the less likely they are to develop an addiction or problem with substance abuse down the road. For parents, this sets a goal to prevent children from experimenting with substances as adolescents. Of course, this kind of activity is more common than not, and most parents would agree that they already have this goal in mind—they just do not have a sure plan or steps to put things into motion. When it comes to dealing with drugs and alcohol, parents are the first defenders for their kids. Most children who have made the choice to not experiment with substances say that the potential of losing the respect of their parents is a driving force behind their decision. If you are a parent who is hoping to help your child escape the clutches of addiction, here are some things that you can do to succeed at prevention.

  1. Be the “Bad” Parent

There are many times when the fear of rejection or a negative reaction from a child prevents a parent from doing the right thing. Being tough on drug use and alcohol can help your child to make the choice to say no. Despite what many parents may believe, rules really do work; they can be the reason your child does not drink or use drugs. If they think that you will be extremely angry if you ever found out, they might just avoid the situation altogether.

  1. Know Your Child’s Friends

Friends can be huge motivators in either direction when it comes to using drugs and alcohol. You should pay attention to whom your child chooses to hang out with on their free time and where they are going. Encourage your child to invite their friends over to your own home, and be sure that you are making them feel welcomed. It is also important to know the parents of your child’s friends. As they make new connections, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to other kid’s parents as you are coming and going from picking your child up from school or other activities.

  1. Keep Your Kids Focused

Getting your children involved in extracurricular activities, such as sports or arts, can help them to say no when it comes to drugs and alcohol. These activities are a lot of fun and will also prevent your child from falling into boredom. On top of those benefits, your child will find a passion that they will be able to commit to for the rest of their life.

Seek Early Intervention

If you feel that your child is already experimenting with drugs or alcohol, early intervention can help. This is the key to educating your child on the dangers of addiction and prolonged substance abuse, as well as arming them with the tools to avoid consumption in the future. If you would like more information on counseling services for your child, visit our therapy page, or contact a representative with South Coast Counseling today.