Parents – the Anti-Drug

Saturday, 07 February 2009 12:41


If you as a parent could do one thing this term that would help your children succeed in school, live a healthier life and develop to his or her fullest potential, would you do it? If you answered “yes,” then talk with your children about alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.  Find out what they know.  Explain to them that using these substances can interfere with studying and can cause their school work to suffer by affecting memory and learning skills.  Describe the harmful health effects of substances.  Let them know how these substances can cause problems in relationships and among friends and tear families apart.

As your children head back to the classroom, you can arm them with the proper tools and information to stay drug-free. You can ensure that your children reach their maximum potential by remembering the vowels below:

A - Advise your teen to get involved in behaviors that are safe, fun and removed from drugs, such as sports or other extracurricular activities.

E - Establish rules with clear consequences and encourage and reward good behavior, but more than anything, be a role model for your kids.

I - Involve yourself in your teen's life.

O - Overlook your fear of having sensitive conversations such as those on sex and drugs and look for the opportunity to talk with your children.

U - Unite yourself with the rest of your family, other parents and organizations in order to have the support of others who may have faced this problem. Use this as an opportunity to pick up tips on keep children drug-free

There are differences between boys and girls which become more obvious with the onset of puberty, as do boys’ and girls’ needs when it comes to resisting alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use. 

Studies show that girls may lose self-confidence and self-worth during this pivotal time, become less physically active, perform less well in school, and neglect their own interests and aspirations. During these years, girls are more vulnerable to negative outside influences and to mixed messages about risky behaviors.  Girls are also at higher risk than boys for sexual abuse, which has been associated with substance abuse.

Puberty generally occurs a year or two later in boys than it does in girls. Boys tend to experience mood swings and can have feelings of anxiety during puberty.  During these years, boys crave exploration of things associated with being grown up, including sexual behavior or experimentation with alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs.

But boys and girls also have a lot in common.  Both are less likely to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs if they have:

  • A positive attitude, an ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and a belief in their ability to “handle things.”
  • A warm, close-knit family and parental supervision with consistent discipline.
  • Close friends, an extended family that provides support, community resources, and family and community attitudes that do not tolerate substance abuse.

All young people face challenges as they grow and mature, and the dangers and temptations of drugs are all around. As parents and people who care about young people, you want the very best for them - you want them to lead productive and happy lives. Parents and family are still the most important influence in young peoples' lives, so keep the lines of communication open, set a clear "no drugs" rule, and continue to discuss the dangers and consequences of drug use.