How to Talk to Your Kids about Drug Addiction
Talking about serious issues is not always easy such as talking about drugs. But it is very important to introduce children to the facts because such issues can affect their lives. And firstly, it is the duty of parents to protect them from the abuse of drugs. But still, there are many parents who do not know when and where to talk to their children about this topic.
Sometimes, children do not feel comfortable talking to their parents on every topic, so, they start finding other options. In order to make the situation normal or to relieve stress, they may enter into the world of intoxication. Therefore, it is important for parents to discuss with children on drug abuse effectively. So, try to give the right information to children, even if your child knows about this danger. Perhaps you know that drug addiction affects the whole family, therefore, this topic should be discussed inevitably so that they can be protected from this danger.
Preschool to Age 7
Do not feel nervous when talking to children about this topic. For example, when the child is sick or injured, you can talk to him while giving medication that when and why these medicines are used. Perhaps, at that time they can focus on your guidance.
In addition to this, you can use teachable moments to understand children. When you see an addict on TV, during that time you can talk about drugs and how it affects the user. When you talk to your child, your tone should be calm, and try to understand them in a simple way.
At the age of 8 to 12 years
As your children grow up, you can easily understand their responses by asking questions about drug abuse. Ask the questions in an open-ended way and assure them that you are listening to their responses carefully. It is commonly found that kids of this age feel free to talk with their parents on touchy topics but as kids grow older, they seem hesitant to share all their feelings. So, if you do not get immediate results from the questions, kids should be given extra time to think. Show them that you are always standing to protect them. Due to this, they will not hesitate to ask for help in the future. However, you may have to do a little research to provide information about the risks of drug addiction but it is important for parents to discuss this topic effectively. You can always contact a drug rehab center for help with this type of information.
At the age of 13 to 17 years
Children of this age have contact with other children. As a result, there is a high probability of connecting with children who use alcohol or drugs. In short, addicted children can be your child’s friends. That’s why your children may also be a victim of drug addiction. But many of them can ask specific questions to parents for expressing their concerns about the misuse of drugs. Therefore, this conversation is necessary so that you can understand the feelings of the child and also tell them about the dangers of drug addiction. Talk to kids about legal issues such as drug-addicted people can go to jail, can be punished, and can seriously injure themselves or others.
Laying good groundwork
Sometimes, despite the proper guidance of parents, children cannot be protected from the danger of drugs because peer pressure plays an important role in making your child addicted. If your child is involved in an addicted group, the probability of taking drugs increases. Apart from this, if a child feels lonely then he becomes easily the victim of drug addiction. So, it is important for parents to know about their child’s company.
Parents need to get involved in the lives of their children by:
- Understanding their feelings
- Providing support and protection to the child at all times.
- Encourage children to be involved in recreational activities because these activities are helpful in relieving stress and fatigue and the child does not feel lonely which is one of the strategies to prevent the child from drug abuse.
Not only the above but if you want to protect your child from the dangers of drug addiction, firstly learn about the symptoms of the drug addiction. If you are concerned your child might be using, you can purchase a drug test from the store (or online) and have your child do a drug test.
But unfortunately, many parents feel that their child will never abuse the drug but this is considered their misconception about addiction because it’s like a disease that can happen to anyone. To truly help your child, you have to remain vigilant and understand that children and teenagers make mistakes. Furthermore, if your teen is struggling, it may take reaching out for outside help such as a counselor or drug rehab program.