If I say children don’t abuse drugs, it would be a white lie! For parents, it’s really hard to believe or accept that their preteens could be using drugs underage.
But, we’ve some stats that’ll put you on alert.
A 2015 report revealed that over 8% of 8th grader reported using bootleg drugs. Marijuana, as well as readily available inhalants and over-the-counter drugs, are popular among middle schoolers. Surprising, but true!
Concerned? You must be!
The best news! Research shows that children who frequently hear from their parents about the risks associated with drugs are less likely to use them.
It suggests you should immediately initiate a drug talk with your children, possibly, before they start with preschool.
Here’s how to begin:
Discuss The Risks In Age-Appropriate Language
Don’t enounce hard-to-understand names of drugs before your little ones.
Instead, focus on common things children already know. Point out how drugs hurt our body. Also, tell them that inappropriate amount of prescribed medicines can also hurt them. Teach them to ingest food or medicines that you, a relative or caregiver gives them.
As your child grows, they seek more information. So, ensure you keep updated with drugs’ names and their effects on our body so that you can provide them the right information. It may be impossible to know everything. But telling more facts early makes them warier.
Often Talk About The Joys Of Healthy Living
When your kindergarten asks for more candies, don’t tempt to snap,” No more candies before dinner.” Instead, explain why they can’t have more candies. Because too much sugar can hurt their teeth and lower your energy, making them unable to play well.
Discuss how good your child will feel when s/he‘s eaten fruits, vegetables, and food rich in nutrients. Tell them an only healthy child can run and jump for hours and win the games on end. Turn the healthy routine chores into manageable fun experiences for your child.
Be Approachable and Respectful
Talking about things like drugs can be challenging. However, now is the time to establish yourself as parents and discuss this serious issue calmly and thoughtfully. By the time your child asks serious questions about drugs, already establishing a heart-to-heart dialogue about drugs will certainly help.
But do it respectfully! Don’t be rude and shout, “How dare you to talk about drugs?” or “Don’t argue with me!” It will make your child more rebellious, and s/he will not be able to heed his/her inner good voices.
Share Your Family Values
Tell your children what your family members think about drug consumption. Also, tell them your family doesn’t accept it, and it’s a strict rule. Say, “Do not agree with taking drugs unless your parents or doctor say so. People who take drugs become very sick. It’s bad for your body, and you won’t be able to play, and eventually, will be deprived of your favorite food.”
Foster Their Self-Esteem
Children with low self-esteem always seek affection and attention, and it becomes an opportunity for peers or high school addicts. So, lay a good foundation early and tell your child how much you love him/her. Don’t hold back to praise them for their good habits and achievements.
Explain “Good Friends”
Tell them that people who ask them to miss school, smoke, drink or use drugs are not good friends. Best friends play and study together and visit each other’s home.
Model Your Beliefs
Addicts can’t expect or teach their kids to be addiction-free. You have to prove that you practice what you preach in front of them. Avoid drugs, especially in front of your children! It’s not good for you as well.
Kids are exposed to drugs at younger and younger ages; thanks to media! So, it’s your responsibility to give and increase their information as your children get more curious and put more questions. Encourage them to take pride in a healthy lifestyle from as early as possible. Don’t hesitate to seek help from reputed drug rehab centers if you find your child addicted.