There’s no way you can shield your kids from finding out that illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco exist – but you can help your child reject offers to try them. It is important to know that kids don’t normally get drugs from strangers. Rather, they get drugs from their friends. And that presents the issue that makes prevention so difficult – teaching your kids that it’s okay to say no to the people they look to for validation, recognition, and fun.
Peer pressure is very powerful. When your child sees other teens, who they’d love to be friendly with, enjoying a drink or a drug, he will most likely want to join in. Your child may fear that the other teens will think he is not cool if he doesn’t join in.
SOME TIPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD STAY DRUG-FREE:
*Strongly discourage your child’s friendships with those who use drugs.
*Tell your kids about your experiences and how you turned down dangerous invitations when you were younger.
*Educate your children as to why drugs are bad. Don’t assume that they know. Explain what addiction is and how anyone can fall into its trap. Tell stories about people whose lives were greatly damaged by drug use.
* Reassure your child that even though his friends may protest his abstention, they will truly respect his decision not to get involved. Remind him that most people are focused on themselves and not concerned with what others do. Help your child to develop firm but friendly responses.
*Cut this out and tape this onto your fridge:
THINGS TO SAY IF YOU ARE OFFERED DRUGS:
“No. I gotta go soon.”
“Nah. I hate how it makes me feel.”
“My friend got involved in that stuff, and he got so messed up. Not for me.”
“Nah. That stuff messes me up for a week afterwards. I have work!”
“Nah, I’m training for the —– .”
“Are you kidding?? My parents would killll me! They’d take away everything!”
“No. I have a paper to write for school. I need to be able to focus.”
“No, thanks. Not my thing.”
“Nope. I’m good. Thanks.”