The most effective way for parents to help children avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs use is to involve in their lives even before they reach the “risky age”. You should discuss with your children all the consequences of consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Here are the strategies which can help you convince your kids:
Concentrate on the positive
- Tell your kid about the necessity to be responsible for his decisions, and explain that he should not do whatever his friends are doing.
- Praise your child. Always find a moment to compliment and thus, help your child boost his self-esteem.
- Be an example for your child. In case you are a smoker, give up your habit, as children tend to follow the example of the parents. Never get behind a wheel after drinking alcohol and don’t and don’t face your child when you are drunk.
- Get your child to sports, or other activities. When the child is always busy with sports, or other activities, he has no time for cigarettes and alcohol.
- Spend weekends with your child. Do something together and be an important part of your child’s life. The more you care about your child, the smaller is the chance of him getting into the use of tobacco, drugs or alcohol.
Speak about the risks and health complications caused by the use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco
- Explain your child how easily people get addicted to drugs and nicotine. Tell your kid as well how difficult is to get rid of the addiction and that even one cigarette can cause a life-long addiction.
- Explain your child that he could be sentenced to community works or even detention if he is caught on drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
- Tell your child that consuming alcohol or drugs can lead to troubles or risky behavior. For example, your child can end up in a car with drunk driver or in unsafe venue with people who took alcohol or drugs.
- Explain your child the rules of behavior and set measures you will take if your child breaks these rules. For example, tell your child that if you see him smoking he will be grounded for several weeks. And don’t forget to explain your child that the rules are established because you care and love him and don’t want your child to get into trouble.
Environment and Peer pressure
The majority of teenagers feel obliged to try cigarettes or drink alcohol as their friends and classmates consume them. Parents have to tell their children how to overcome peer pressure and avoid trying these things.
- Try to encourage your child to hang out only with those friends who do not consume alcohol or cigarettes. Speak with your child about his friends and try to understand whether there are any friends who use drugs, tobacco, etc.
- Ask you child to avoid going to those parties where alcohol or drugs can be used.
- Encourage your child to call you to pick him up whenever he feels pressured to try cigarettes or drugs.
- And Remember being friends with your child is the best advice for parents who want to protect children from the mentioned dangerous practices.