In order to keep kids off drugs, they need to be taught the dangers early on. Parents are one of the most important role models in a child’s life and what they say and do can greatly influence the choices that their children make now and in the future. Parents need to set a positive example and talk to kids about the dangers of drugs, the consequences of drug use, and the importance of staying away from dangerous substances. The following tips will help you keep your kids drug free.
One of the most important things that parents and other adults can do toward addiction prevention is to educate children on the dangers of drugs. From a young age, instilling this information in children will allow them to make smart decisions when they are older.
Talking to Young Children
While it may seem unnecessary to talk to very young children about drugs, kids as young as preschool age can be spoken to. The habits that children begin to form at a young age will affect them later on in life. Children this young are eager to learn and will understand easy concepts such as the fact that smoking is bad for you. They will probably not be ready at such an early age to learn complex facts about drug abuse but nonetheless it is a good idea to begin education with your child on drug and alcohol abuse early on.
Talking to School Age Children
Once your child enters elementary school they will probably begin to be more curious about the outside world. At this point, children will be able to understand more complex concepts. Children of elementary school age should be able to tell the difference between items such as foods, medicines, poisons, and illegal drugs. When taught, they will also be able to understand that while adults can drink alcohol in moderation, it is not okay for children, even in small amounts. Children should also be taught the immediate effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco on the body as well as the long term effects, and why drugs are so dangerous.
Talking to Preteens & Teens
When children reach middle school age, they are often trying desperately to fit in. This may lead to them seeing older students using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs which can tempt them to try these things as well. Research has shown that drug use greatly increases among children in the first year of middle school. Parents can counter this temptation by making sure that their kids are well educated in the reasons that it is important to avoid alcohol and drugs. Parents and guardians should also take steps to get to know their kids friends and their friends parents. Knowing what your children are up to and the type of people they are associating with will help you keep them drug free.
What is Your Child’s School Doing to Keep Students Drug Free?
Children spend a a good deal of their time at school and when schools help to support parents in anti-drug education, children will be more likely to lead drug free lives. If school policies do not teach what you are teaching your children at home, it can lead to confusion and undermine your efforts. Learn what the policies are at your child’s school regarding drugs and alcohol. If there is no policy in place, consider attending school or parent volunteer meetings and discuss setting up a policy and curriculum. Many schools partake in outside programs such as DARE. There are many options when it comes to anti-drug policies and education in school settings.
Anti-drug education ultimately starts at home but schools and other people and places that influence children are doing their part as well. Students that are well educated on the dangers of drug and alcohol use and abuse are better equipped to resist temptation and lead a healthy, drug free life.
More Information on Keeping Kids Drug Free
D.A.R.E. – Keeping Kids Drug Free
Tips For Raising Drug Free Kids
Talking With Kids About Drugs and Alcohol
Parental Involvement in Raising Drug Free Youth
It’s My Life: Drug Abuse
Warning Signs For Drug Use