Have you spoken with your children about drugs and alcohol? Many parents hesitate about broaching these subjects with their children, but you must. Schools are supposed to provide drug and alcohol education as well, but as a parent, I always believed it was better for my children to hear about those subjects from me and my husband rather than someone else as we were also teaching about our Christian beliefs and values in the process.
Focus on the Family has an excellent series of articles online about talking with your children about drugs and alcohol. It starts with a parent taking opportunities to talk whenever you can, as you cannot wait for the perfect moment. Look for teachable moments when your children are with you, undistracted. Remember that it is never too early to start talking about these issues. Of course, if your children are young, you will want to taper what you say to their age range. Ask questions. Inquire as to what they already have heard about the subjects.
Never tell your children a lie. The author of the online series of articles mentions a girl in his class who said that her mother told her that if she smoked marijuana, her hair would fall out. The girl knew other students who smoked but still had hair. Of course, she now did not believe her mother. Would she believe her mother on other subjects? That is a very good question.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, so it is up to you to know the subjects and be ready to give good counseling. Ask your children’s teachers and school nurse for recommendations as to how you can prepare yourself and what literature there is to support what you say. Your children will more likely listen to you if what you are saying to them comports with what they can find out online or at their school. Give them literature so they can read for themselves as well.
To read the full series of articles, click here.