Talking about drugs can be difficult. It’s an important conversation for parents to have with teens, but many don’t know where to start. If you are concerned, it’s a good idea to keep the following tips in mind.
Teenagers are far more informed than you might think. When you talk about drugs, stay away from the scare tactics. Instead, be real. Tell them what can really happen if they used drugs, both from a health standpoint and a legal standpoint. Let them know about the real consequences. There are enough problems with drugs that you should not have to make things up. Remember, a teenager will immediately remember your lies and consider everything else you have told them to be tainted. Don’t make that mistake when talking to your teens.
It’s also important that you remember that your teenager is only going to talk to you if he or she feels safe. That means the moment you start to judge, he or she will shut down. While you absolutely need to know if your teen is using drugs, it’s vitally important that he or she is receptive to the information he or she gives you. Put aside your worries for a moment so that you can find out what you need to know. There’s plenty of time to take action once you are aware of what is going on.
Finally, make sure you are supportive when your teen comes to you with questions. Your teen might share things with you that don’t exactly make you happy, but the fact that he or she is sharing is a big deal. Be supportive of his or her struggles. You don’t have to be overly permissive, but deal with your teen like he or her is a real person. You’ll be amazed by how receptive to your advice a teen can be when he or she feels validated and respected.
Don’t be afraid to talk about drugs with your teen. If you are honest, straightforward, and supportive, you can have a productive conversation with him or her. While you might not always agree about everything, it’s important that you share what you believe with your teenager. What you tell him or her will help to inform his or her own beliefs, so make sure you go about this conversation in the right way.