At one time, your teen may have looked to your for advice about everything, as he/she saw you as having a vast array of knowledge on practically every subject. Yet, as your teen gets older, he/she may look to you less and less for insight, especially on sensitive topics like drugs and alcohol use. However, to help your child make wise decisions when confronted with these temptations, you should establish a dialogue along with open communication in your household.
- Create open communication in your home. Your teen may be more willing to discuss uncomfortable topics with you if you have already established good communication about school, friends, interests and ambitions for the future.
- Listen when talking with your child. Make good eye contact and nod along while paying attention. Show your child that you are extremely interested in what he/she is saying and want to learn about his/her life.
- Create moments to talk one-on-one. Since both of your schedules may be hectic, make a point to schedule time for you to spend time with your teen to talk, such as going for a walk, shopping or going out for dinner.
- Conduct family meetings on a regular basis. Hold regular family meetings in which members of the family can discuss what is on their minds and discuss any pressure that kids are facing at school.
- Role play with your teen. To prepare your kid for the potential peer pressure situations he/she may run into with others, role play scenarios in your home. Pretend you are a friend who wants your teen to try drugs. Then, teach him/her how to resist the peer pressure and walk away.
- Encourage your teen. Throughout every aspect of his/her life, encourage your teen to succeed to the best of his/her ability. Show support for good grades, a solid performance on the soccer field and wise decisions when it comes to peer pressure.
Teens get a lot of information about drug and alcohol usage from their peers; however, parents can still be a beneficial resource for them by explaining why these activities are detrimental to their health and well-being.
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