Talking With Your Children

The more you communicate, the more at ease your child will feel about discussing drugs and other sensitive issues with you.

  • Be absolutely clear with your kids that you do not want them using drugs. EVER. ANYWHERE. Do not leave room for interpretation. Talk often about the dangers and results of drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Be a better listener. Ask questions - and encourage them. Paraphrase what your child says to you. Ask for his/her input about family decisions. Showing your willingness to listen will make your child feel more comfortable about opening up to you.
  • Give honest answers. Do not make up what you do not know; offer to find out. If asked whether you have ever taken drugs, let them know what is important: that you do not want them using drugs.
  • Use TV reports, anti-drug commercials, news or school discussions about drugs to help you introduce the subject in a natural, unforced way.
  • Do not react in a way that will cut off further discussion. If your child makes statements that challenge or shock you, turn those statements into a calm discussion of why your child thinks people use drugs, or whether the effect is worth the risk.
  • Role play with your child and practice ways to refuse drugs and alcohol in different situations. Acknowledge how tough these moments can be.